BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 19, 2013 (AFP) - German driver Nico Rosberg recorded the fastest time on the first full day of the second series of Formula One testing on Tuesday, timing 1min 22.616sec in his Mercedes.
Rosberg, son of Finland's former world champion Keke, was just a fraction faster than Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen (0.007s to be precise), with Spanish driver Fernando Alonso third-fastest in his new Ferrari model.
It was a good driving display by Rosberg who only completed just 14 laps in the morning becasue of a gearbox problem, but once it got fixed and he rejoined a full hour after the lunch break, he set the pace with 1:22.616 clock, best of his 54 laps to claim the top position of the day.
Alonso, the two-time world champion, had not driven in the earlier testing session in Jerez but made an immediate impression here.
The spaniard, who lost out on the title last season to Sebastian Vettel by just three points having led going into the final race of the season in Brazil, recorded a quickest time of 1:22.952.
He pushed three-time world champion Vettel, who had set the fastest time in the morning session, into fourth. The German was three tenths of a second slower than Rosberg in his Red Bull.
Another good day came from the Williams team and today's driver, Pastor Maldonado, who set the fifth best time in 86 laps, all done with the just released FW35. Although, questions over the legality of the car's exhaust layout came up, to which technical director Mike Coughlan responded that the new design goes along with the regulations.
The new season opens in Australia on March 17.
Below the best times for the first day of testing at Barcelona:
|2||Kimi Raikkonen||Lotus||1:22.672||+ 0.007s||44|
|3||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||1:22.952||+ 0.336s||110|
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:22.965||+ 0.349s||66|
|5||Pastor Maldonado||Williams||1:23.733||+ 1.117s||86|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||1:23.884||+ 1.268s||73|
|7||Sergio Perez||McLaren||1:24.124||+ 1.508s||77|
|8||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:24.144||+ 1.528s||82|
|9||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber||1:25.124||+ 2.508s||68|
|10||Max Chilton||Marussia||1:26.747||+ 4.131s||65|
|11||Charles Pic||Caterham||1:27.534||+ 4.918s||49|