Today the 2010 Formula 1 circus had its busiest official test session at the Jerez circuit. A total of 12 drivers from 11 teams clocked crucial laps at the Spanish race track. All teams were present except for USF1 and Campos, the only two teams that have yet to launch their 2010 contenders.

Today was also Lotus Racing’s first official test session and the team’s third and reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy was behind the wheel. He completed a total of 76 laps and managed to set a personal best lap time of 1:31.848. That lap time put him in 11th place but he was more than 2 seconds quicker than Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock who set a lap time of 1:34.453.

The fastest driver was Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull who set 1:22.593. The German was quicker than Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa from McLaren and Ferrari respectively while Michael Schumacher from Mercedes GP Petronas completed 111 laps and managed to set 1:23.803 which put him in sixth.

However its very hard to use these lap times as an accurate performance indicator. During such tests sessions, different cars may run on different fuel levels, tires and other settings such as aerodynamics. Teams are still developing their cars hence a more accurate indicator will be the performance during the season-opening race in Bahrain which will happen next month.

At the same time Virgin Racing has been spending a lot of time at the bottom end of the time sheets for the past five test sessions. This may be a sign that Lotus Racing’s ‘rival’ is struggling with its car. Nevertheless lets catch the first race on March 14th and find out!