Formula 1 News

Vettel early leader in Catalunya testing

Mercedes having a good day with Hamilton.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 20, 2013 (AFP) - Triple world champion Sebastian Vettel registered the fastest time in Wednesday's opening testing session at Barcelona's Catalunya circuit.

With a best lap of 1min 22.197 the Red Bull driver took the provisional second day honors from new Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with Sergio Perez, who replaced the Briton at McLaren, in third.

Mercedes have had a good day so far and seems to be in good spirits. Lewis Hamilton completed 64 laps and an excellent time of 1:22.726, good for second best in the morning, but still half a second from Vettel.

Peréz did also have a good morning as he was just 0.017s slower than Hamilton; while Alonso making use of the 'medium' tyres at the time of his best lap, set for fourth but a full second slower than the top value.

It was also the turn for Valtteri Bottas to have a taste of the new Williams FW35, he managed to be the fifth quickest with a run of 53 laps.

Temperatures weren't the ideal for the session, which prompted teams to avoid long runs early and instead other exercises, from pit-stop practices to short sprints, etc.

It was pretty much a normal morning with the exception of Kimi Raikkonen dealing with Gearbox issue that prevented him from seeing some action as he was reduced to a mere four laps.

The 2013 season gets underway in Australia on March 17.

Below the results for the morning session:

POS DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP LAPS
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:22.197 43
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.726 0.529 64
3 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:22.743 0.546 35
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:23.247 1.05 28
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:23.561 1.364 53
6 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.718 1.521 46
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1:23.971 1.774 41
8 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:24.638 2.441 39
9 Charles Pic Caterham 1:26.985 4.788 52
10 Max Chilton Marussia 1:28.9 6.703 32
11 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 4

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