BARCELONA, March 2, 2012 (AFP) - French driver Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari on Friday clocked the fastest time of the morning, on the second day of the final pre-season Formula One testing in Spain.
The session started with a 30 minute delay due to foggy conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya and an early red flag because of the motionless Williams from Pastor Maldonado, after that Alonso was the first driver to set a competitive time with 1:25.324 on soft tyres.
But it was Jean-Eric Vergne the one this time to join the long list of drivers recording bets times in each of the sessions, by recording a time of 1min 23.126secs over his 31 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya at Montmelo north of Barcelona.
One of the red flags seen today occurred when Michael Schumacher's Mercedes stopped at Turn 7. This seemed no to pose a problem for Alonso as Alonso was clearly not bothered by the stop-start he soon posted a 1:23.447 on the hard rubber, the second best of the morning.
At the end, French rookie Vergne went 0.321 faster than Alonso on a set of super soft tyres, although, he had some problems shortly before the end of the morning session after his STR7 stopped at Turn 8 with smoke coming from the rear of the car.
Frenchman, Romain Grosjean in the Lotus-Renault, marked the third best time of 1min 23.528secs, not far from the leaders.
Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen, who was replaced by team-mate Vitaly Petrov at the last minute on day one after falling ill, was fifth fastest.
McLaren focused on pit-stop practice early morning and Lewis Hamilton's 1:24.111 was only good enough for P7.
Teams are fine-tuning their cars before the first race of the 2012 Formula One season in Melbourne, Australia, on March 18.
Below the times for the morning session:
|1.||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso STR7||1:23.126||31|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F2012||1:23.447||35|
|3.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus E20||1:23.528||34|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull RB8||1:23.536||38|
|5.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham CT01||1:23.828||34|
|6.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India VJM05||1:23.893||33|
|7.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren MP4-27||1:24.111||30|
|8.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes W03||1:24.663||19|
|9.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams FW34||1:25.801||20|
|10.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber C31||1:26.111||35|