BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 28, 2013 (AFP) – BARCELONA, March 1, 2013 (AFP) - Britain's Jenson Button, of McLaren, was quickest on a wet second morning of the final pre-season testing of the winter in Barcelona on Friday.
Button, the 2009 world champion, was 0.216 seconds quicker than Germany's Adrian Sutil, driving for Force India in conditions that started off very wet before beginning to dry up. Nevertheless, the Briton's time was three seconds off from Thursday’s best, a clear indication that the track was far from optimal.
Sutil's impressive performance came a day after he was confirmed as the Force India team's second driver for 2013 after a 12-month absence.
His compatriot Niko Hulkenberg, in a Sauber, was third, while world champion Sebastian Vettel was tenth in his Red Bull, for whom Mark Webber had set the quickest pace on Thursday.
In the early morning over the wet track, it was Nico Rosberg from Mercedes who set the pace on intermediate tyres, but then after switching to slicks, McLaren had the upper hand.
It was Pastor Maldonado who took the lead and was the first to try out the slicks (super soft) and rapidly he set the best time, something that was noticed the the rest of the field who followed the move and turned to non-wet rubbers.
On interesting note, world champion Sebastian Vettel did not registered competitive times and that might have to do with the team running a different program, concretely a new passive drag reduction device.
Morning session leading times:
|2||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1:26.152||+ 0.216s||42|
|3||Nico Hulkenberg||Sauber||1:27.246||+ 1.310s||36|
|4||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||1:27.672||+ 1.736s||50|
|5||Romain Grosjean||Lotus||1:27.757||+ 1.821s||52|
|6||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||1:27.878||+ 1.942s||52|
|7||Pastor Maldonado||Williams||1:29.132||+ 3.196s||35|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||1:29.682||+ 3.746s||40|
|9||Max Chilton||Marussia||1:29.772||+ 3.836s||39|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:31.159||+ 5.223s||26|
|11||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham||1:39.036||+ 13.100s||29|