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Rosberg fastest as rain denies McLaren News Review

Monday, March 21, 2011

BARCELONA: Nico Rosberg set the fastest time on a rain-ruined last day of testing here on Saturday, with Lewis Hamilton and McLaren missing out on some much-needed practice.
Mercedes driver Rosberg clocked one minute 43.814 seconds to finish top of the timings but it was a frustrating day for all concerned as heavy rain kept all four teams — Ferrari and Williams were the others — off the track for long periods.
Pastor Maldonado was half a second further back than Rosberg, with Hamilton third 0.7secs back.
All three posted their best times after the weather finally eased late in the afternoon session.
Michael Schumacher made just five laps, without attempting a flying lap, before handing over to Rosberg, while Ferrari completed just five exploratory laps before calling it a day before the scheduled close.
Hispania were present at the track but were not in a position to race, meaning their F111 will not make its track debut until the Melbourne Grand Prix.
McLaren had been hoping to get some meaningful testing under their belts after a difficult winter that has raised questions over the reliability and pace of their car.
Hamilton told “We know we have a bit of a hill to climb, but we can do it.
“I don’t like to use the word ‘frustrating’ because I’m not frustrated.
“It’s tough on everyone in the team because everyone puts so much work into it, and you see it come out and look so beautiful, and... it’s not a disaster, it just doesn’t have as much performance as we’d like at the moment.
“But it’s a foundation that we can build on, and that’s all that really matters.
“It means that we can get there. If you look at last year, we didn’t have the fastest start at the beginning but we were there or thereabouts and second in the constructors’ championship.”


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