Formula 1 News

Hamilton sets early pace over dry conditions

Finally good weather made an appearance at Barcelona, and allowed for lower times.
Saturday, March 2, 2013

BARCELONA, March 2, 2013 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton recorded the fastest time on Saturday morning on the third day of pre-season testing at the Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona.

The British Mercedes driver, world champion in 2008, posted a quickest time of 1min 20.55sec on a dry track, over a second faster than Mexican Sergio Perez's fastest lap on the same circuit a week ago.

It was a first for the Circuit de Catalunya this week, as there was plenty of sunshine to enjoy. A direct consequence of such warmer and more appropriate climate was the lower times, and of course, the use of the soft tyres.

Germany's Adrian Sutil was second-fastest in a time of 1min 21.627sec in his Force India, while Brazil's Felipe Massa was third, both on softs. Ferrari tested a new exhaust configuration along with a new front wing.

Pastor Maldonado was fourth fastest in the Williams FW35. The Venezuelan will pass the steering wheel to Valttery Bottas for the afternoon session.

Quickest on Friday, France's Romain Grosjean did not take to the track on Saturday morning but was due to participate in the afternoon session. Kimi Raikkonen was supposed to be in charge but he was left out due to illness and his place was taken by Davide Valsecchi who was good for ninth fastest.

Jules Bianchi saw action for first time as a Marussia driver. The Frenchman completed 37 laps with a best time of 1:24.307 that was only good for tenth.

The four-day testing session ends on Sunday ahead of the start of the 2013 season in Melbourne on March 17.

Below the morning times:

POS. DRIVER TEAM TIME LAPS
1 Leiws Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.558 56
2 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:21.627 41
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.673 63
4 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:22.305 34
5 Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber 1:22.553 47
6 Sergio Pérez McLaren 1:22.694 50
7 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:23.116 36
8 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:23.223 41
9 David Valsecchi Lotus 1:23.448 16
10 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:24.307 37
11 Giedo V.d.Garde Caterham 1:24.520 54

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