Testing at Barcelona Day 1 – Mercedes on top, but only just

Picture courtesy Williams F1

The second pre-season test at Barcelona got underway yesterday with Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes finishing on top, just ahead of the Finn, Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. The Mercedes faced some technical difficulties with their gearbox early in the day, but fixed it before the afternoon session to finish ahead in the time sheets. Due to the track being dirty on day one it were the hard and medium compounds on use today, as the lack of grip means the cars are sliding around a lot and that means higher tyre wear. The best times were subsequently set on the medium tyres with Kimi who ended up just 7/1000th’s of a second off Rosberg’s pace, going out “just to have fun” ,according to the @Lotus_f1team, on a low fuel run.

Picture courtesy Scuderia Ferrari

Fernando Alonso who was back in the office today after missing out on the test at Jerez finished third on the time sheets when a low fuel run on medium tyres demoted Sebastian Vettel from the third spot. Alonso racked up a total of 110 laps, and has targeted 100 laps per day for the next two days that he has the F138. Vettel, like most drivers, spent all morning on the harder compound and ended the session before lunch on top showing the Red Bull’s strong long run pace.

The newly launched FW35 in the hands of Pastor Maldonado looked quick in the early morning, and surprisingly finished the day just over one second off the best time, considering the car had some catching up to do in terms of mileage when compared to all the other cars who had a four day head start. The Toro Rosso seems to have well and truly moved from the back of the grid from 2012 and solidly into the midfield with a time set ahead of McLaren’s young Mexican star Checo.

Sergio is still getting used to his new environment and the media blitz that is McLaren, and the team will be looking to him to get everything together before Saturday at the Australian Grand Prix.

Barcelona Testing Time Sheet – Day 1
1. Rosberg – Mercedes – 1.22.616
2. Raikkonen – Lotus – 1.22.623
3. Alonso – Ferrari – 1.22.952
4. Vettel – Red Bull – 1.22.965
5. Maldonado – Williams – 1.23.733
6. Ricciardo – Toro Rosso – 1.23.733
7. Perez – McLaren – 1.24.124
8. Di Resta – Force India – 1.24.144
9. Guiterrez – Sauber – 1.25.124
10. Chilton – Marussia – 1.26.747
11. Pic – Caterham – 1.27.534

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