Barcelona Testing: Day 1

The F1 circus returned to action this morning at the chilly Circuit de Catalunya for what may be the prologue to another classic Formula One season. Williams finally revealed their 2013 challenger, thus completing the field and there was plenty of work to be done. Here is how everyone got on.

The morning was relatively quiet as everybody got used to the very green circuit. Once the teams came to grips, however, they were quick to show their speed. The last 20 minutes was when the drivers started to show their speed as Vettel, Raikkonen, Alonso and Rosberg impressed.

Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull enjoyed a lot of time at the top of the time sheets (he ended the morning session fastest). He would eventually end the day 4th.

Fernando Alonso got his first taste of the F138 after he opted to sit out the four days of testing in Jerez. He said the new car was on another planet compared to the F2012 of last year. Funnily enough, this is precisely what Felipe Massa had to say about the F138 in Jerez. Fernando also completed by far the most laps of anyone, slipping past the 100 lap mark to finish on 110 for the day.

Sergio Perez kicked things off for Mclaren in Barcelona. A lengthly reset process after an aero run delayed his running for a large chunk of time in the morning, but he had a productive day nonetheless.

Kimi Raikkonen was the first of the Lotus drivers to get to know the E21 around the Spanish circuit. He was happy with the progress made today, but feels there is still some work to be done. He also enjoyed time at the top of the time sheets today, eventually finishing second.

Nico Rosberg had some gearbox troubles this morning. He was delays for a worrying amount of time, but eventually got running after the lunch break. He was quick to show his speed as well, ending the day fastest, just .007 second quicker than Raikkonen.

Esteban Gutierrez had a very quiet day in his Sauber. He was vocal about the tire situation, saying that they were degrading very rapidly, just like they did in Jerez. Nevertheless, Sauber have a lot of information to analyze over the next three days.

Paul di Resta was the early pacesetter this morning. There weren’t any mechanical issues of note and he ended the day 8th fastest.

As the first man to drive the brand new FW35, Pastor Maldonado had a lot to do today. The Venezuelan was very happy with the progress made on the new car and his is pleased with the overall performance. If there is anyone to gauge good car performance around the Barcelona circuit, it is last years’ winner.

Daniel Ricciardo impressed the time sheets, often hanging around the big boys on the speed charts. He didn’t encounter any mechanical issues and ended the day 6th fastest.

Marussia’s Max Chilton and Caterham’s Charles Pic were tenth and 11th respectively as the first of the four days of testing came to an end.

Tuesday times:
Pos  Driver                              Time                     Time                                 Laps    Tyre*
 1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes     1m22.616s            54  Medium
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen     Lotus        1m22.672s  + 0.007s  44  Medium
 3.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari      1m22.952s  + 0.336s  110 Medium
 4.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull     1m22.965s  + 0.349s  66  Medium
 5.  Pastor Maldonado   Williams     1m23.733s  + 1.117s  86   Soft
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo   Toro Rosso   1m23.884s  + 1.268s  73   Hard
 7.  Sergio Perez       McLaren      1m24.124s  + 1.508s  77  Medium
 8.  Paul di Resta      Force India  1m24.144s  + 1.528s  82  Medium
 9.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber       1m25.124s  + 2.508s  68   Hard
10.  Max Chilton        Marussia     1m26.747s  + 4.131s  65   Soft
11.  Charles Pic        Caterham     1m27.534s  + 4.918s  49   Hard

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