- First Barcelona Test - Day One
Fast lap wasn't on low fuel - Maldonado
Pastor Maldonado's fastest time on the first day of testing in Barcelona was not achieved with low fuel, according to the Venezuelan driver.
The Lotus driver clocked a 1:25.011 in the afternoon, which was faster than Lewis Hamilton's pole position time at the Spanish Grand Prix last year. Maldonado was using soft compound tyres - as opposed to the medium compound tyres used by Hamilton last year - but insists it was not a glory run to bag the fastest time.
"What we know is that we were always doing long runs around 10-12 laps, so we had fuel enough to do some different tests and good laps, and after the laps to do some long runs," he said. "It was just to check temperatures in the car and different things, and we are still at that point - checking different things in the car. It seems like we are understanding the car and improving step by step."
Maldonado judged the difference between the medium compound and soft compound tyres to be worth around two seconds in the conditions at Barcelona on Thursday. He said it was not yet clear how much faster the car could go if he was going for all-out lap time on low fuel and new tyres.
"Difficult to say, it's still early. We need to work with the set-up of the car and do many things. Some parts will arrive as well through the two weeks [of testing] so hopefully all the parts will give us some performance, but we need to test before I can say something."
But Maldonado is hoping to register some low-fuel laps during next week's final pre-season test.
"Now I think we still need to work on the reliability. This is very important for us - to not have any problems from the beginning of the season - and then next week we can try to go down with the fuel and push a little bit."