Formula 1 News

Vettel sets early pace in Barcelona testing

Fernando Alonso also saw action for first time this pre-season.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 19, 2013 (AFP) - Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel set the early pace for Red Bull on the first day of testing ahead of the start of the new Formula One season here on Tuesday.

Fernando Alonso, second to Vettel in the 2012 driver's championship, posted the third best time in Ferrari's F138 at Barcelona's Catalunya circuit having missed the opening batch of tests in Jerez.

Most of Vettel's laps were done on the hard tyres, an approach followed by Raikkonen who set his best time of 1:23.571 using the hard compound.

The 2012 runner-up, Fernando Alonso, hit the pitch for first time this pre-season at Barcelona where he was greeted by a good legion of fans at the main Grandstand. His time of 1:23.733 was also set on hard tyres as well, and ran a solid 44 laps.

The FW35 launched earlier in the day by Williams had an encouraging start with Maldonado registering the fourth best time of 1:23.733 set on the medium tyre. The Venezuelan ran for a long 49 laps, a number only matched by Paul di Resta from Force India.

The new season opens in Australia on March 17.

The times for the morning session:

POS DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP LAPS
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:23.046 25
2 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:23.571 + 0.525s 19
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:23.626 + 0.580s 44
4 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:23.733 + 0.687s 47
5 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.884 + 0.838s 44
6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:24.124 + 1.078s 22
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1:24.144 + 1.098s 47
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.520 + 1.474s 14
9 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:25.136 + 2.090s 38
10 Charles Pic Caterham 1:27.534 + 4.488s 40
11 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.068 + 5.022s 36

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2 Lewis Hamilton 161
3 Daniel Ricciardo 98
4 Fernando Alonso 87
5 Valtteri Bottas 73
6 Sebastian Vettel 70
1 Mercedes 326
2 Red Bull Racing 168
3 Ferrari 106
4 Williams F1 103
5 Sahara Force India 91
6 McLaren 90

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