Whilst the F1 news is set to be dominated by the Bahrain cancellation story for the next few days it’s worth remembering that the rather serious business of testing has been taking place in Barcelona. The four day test concluded today with Felipe Massa topping the times in his Ferrari, and Badger has had a quick look at who’s been showing well in Spain.

We’ve also got a full table of times from the test, with each driver’s best effort and total laps completed – all fully sortable. Added to that we’ve got photos – absolutely loads of photos – thanks to our friends at Octane. They’ve been snapping throughout the test and provided us with a plethora of great images – the rear-wing and diffuser galleries are of particular interst to the technically minded among you. Enjoy.

Circuit de Catalunya test musings.

First off, Red Bull are undoubtedly quick. The RB7 seems to be enjoying the same stability and grip through the corners that made the RB6 such a mighty machine and it’s hard to imagine them being much lower than the second row in Australia. Honestly, they’ve got to be favourites to take pole at Albert Park. Yes – Albert Park for the season opener. It just sounds right, doesn’t it?

The only team who currently look capable of beating them are Ferrari, whose rather conservative looking new car has been completing plenty of long runs with next to no problems in Spain. Both  Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have been setting competitive times too, suggesting that the Scuderia will, as has been the case almost every year since the mid-nineties, be right up there.

McLaren meanwhile have been concerned by their lack of long runs, fearing that rivals Red Bull and Ferrari have stolen a march on them in this respect. Whilst the Woking-based outfit have posted competitive times over a short distance they have not done as much work as they would have liked on race distances, and will perhaps be pleased in this respect that Bahrain is off. A bit of extra time is just what Martin Whitmarsh and his team were looking for.

Elsewhere Mercedes aren’t entirely happy with their new motor, despite Nico Rosberg setting the fastest time on Sunday. He’s voiced some complaints but reckons problems are getting solved, whilst Michael Schumacher told the BBC he is “slightly concerned” by the car’s current pace. Overall Michael is very cautious about how his team will fare, especially early in the season. Renault’s Nick Heidfeld also been a bit worried his R31’s balance, but is nevertheless positive about the car he’s minding in Robert Kubica’s absence. It certainly seems to be giving him all the confidence required through the corners – a positive sign for the Enstone squad.

Toro Rosso have been showing well – Sebastien Buemi posting the third quickest time today – but just how representative this is we can’t yet tell. It’s not uncommon for teams of STR’s size (think Prost in 2001 or Sauber last year) to show much better in testing and then wilt in the heat of competitive action. We’re not saying this is the case for the Italian squad, it’s just a word of warning to anyone thinking of putting a few quid on Seb or Jaime to land a podium in Australia.

Lotus have been generally pleased with their efforts, Jarno Trulli expressing pleasure at the new car’s pace. However the team are believed to have reliability issues and missed much of today’s running after Trulli put the car in the wall. Still, we reckon Jarno’s optimism speaks volumes – the 36-year-old knows his time in F1 is short and is past the stage of talking up a slow car. The new Lotus may well be decent (though we’re not tipping it for the title).

F1’s testing circus hasn’t seen the last of Barcelona. The teams will return there on March 8th for another four day test following the cancellation of Bahrain’s Grand Prix and pre-season test.

The Complete Testing Times

DriverTeamDay 1 BestDay 1 LapsDay 2 BestDay 2 LapsDay 3 BestDay 3 LapsDay 4 BestDay 4 LapsTotal LapsBest TimeRank
Felipe MassaFerrari001'26.5081231'22.6251212441'22.6251
Nico RosbergMercedes01'24.7301311'23.1689202231'23.1682
Sebastian VettelRed Bull1'24.374371'23.315104001411'23.3153
Mark WebberRed Bull001'24.9951391'23.442692081'23.4424
Vitaly PetrovRenault1'35.174201'26.884611'23.4639301741'23.4635
Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso1'25.638571'23.51997001541'23.5196
Su008ebastien BuemiToro Rosso001'26.155311'23.550901211'23.5507
Nick HeidfeldRenault1'44.324271'24.2424101'23.657951631'23.6578
Lewis HamiltonMcLaren001'23.858931'24.0031072001'23.8589
Fernando AlonsoFerrari1'25.4851011'23.97890001911'23.97810
Rubens BarrichelloWilliams1'26.912521'24.008000521'24.00811
Pastor MaldonadoWilliams001'24.815601'24.0571211811'24.05712
Adrian SutilForce India001'25.7201021'24.177641661'24.17713
Kamui KobayashiSauber1'25.641781'24.243125002031'24.24314
Sergio PerezSauber001'25.5571151'24.515741891'24.51515
Jenson ButtonMcLaren1'26.365771'24.92354001311'24.92316
Paul Di RestaForce India1'26.575261'25.19480001061'25.19417
Jarno TrulliLotus001'25.454481'29.99218661'25.45418
Heikki KovalainenLotus1'30.065541'26.42158001121'26.42119
Jerome D'AmbrosioVirgin1'30.950116001'26.501501661'26.50120
Timo GlockVirgin01'27.242661'26.5989701631'26.59821
Vitantonio LiuzziHRT01'27.0447000701'27.04422
Michael SchumacherMercedes1'27.51290001'27.0791142041'27.07923
Giorgio MondiniHRT01'31.584261'28.178390651'28.17824
Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso001'28.329420421'28.32925
Narain KarthikeyanHRT1'28.39311601'30.7223201481'28.39326

    Our Barcelona Test Photo Gallery

    Barcelona Testing Day 1

    The penultimate pre-season test gets underway with the teams and drivers getting to try out some of Pirelli\'s intermediate tyres for the first time on a drying track.

    Barcelona Testing Day 2

    More action from the Circuit de Catalunya as the teams have better conditions for the second day.

    Barcelona Testing Day 3

    More images from the third day of the test where the times continued to tumble... not that we can read that much into them

    Barcelona Testing Day 4

    Images from the final day of testing at Barcelona, until the team teams return ahead of the Australian GP

    Tech Focus - the rears of the year

    A special album focusing on what the team\'s engineers have achieved this year in terms of diffuser design and the different ideas applied to the back of the cars

    Tech Focus - Moveable Rear Wings in ACTION!

    There\'s been much talk and hype over the rear wings this year, thanks to our super quick snappy photographers, here\'s the wings doing their business frame by frame.

    Atmosphere at Catalunya

    Images of the fans and the thrills around the Circuit de Catalunya race track - many Alonso fans around - funny that.