Nico Rosberg has put Mercedes’ underwhelming efforts from Jerez behind him, along with everyone else, to put the F1 W04 on top of the timesheets after the first day of pre-season testing in Barcelona overnight.
It was close at the top, though, with Rosberg (1:22.616) narrowly edging out Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus, 1:22.672). Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) enjoyed his first day behind the wheel in 2013, racking up 110 laps and the day’s third best time. While Sebastien Vettel (Red Bull) kept in touch, fourth quickest, some 0.35s off Rosberg’s best.
It’s probably also worth noting that the best four lap times were set on Pirelli’s medium compound tyres.
Pastor Maldonado’s first day out in the new Williams FW35 was not too shabby, finishing fifth best, although over 1.1 seconds off the pace.
Rosberg’s day didn’t start that well, with concerns over his car’s gearbox. You get the feeling it could be another mixed bag for Mercedes in 2013.
“We had a mixed day today with some laps lost this morning. However we were able to work through a good program this afternoon and, of course, itâ€™s always nice to be quickest at the end of the day,” Rosberg said. “In general, I feel happy and comfortable in the car and it feels better than the last time we were here at this track. There is still some work to be done on tyre degradation and our program this afternoon was helpful in understanding that.”
2013 F1 pre-season testing â€“ Barcelona I (Day 1)
- Nico Rosberg Mercedes â€“ 1:22.616 (54 laps)
- Kimi Raikkonen Lotus â€“ 1:22.672 +0.007 (44 laps)
- Fernando Alonso Ferrari â€“ 1:22.952 +0.336 (110 laps)
- Sebastian Vettel Red Bull â€“ 1:22.965 +0.349 (66 laps)
- Pastor Maldonado Williams â€“ 1:23.733 +1.117 (86 laps)
- Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso â€“ 1:23.884 +1.268 (73 laps)
- Sergio Perez McLaren â€“ 1:24.124 +1.508 (77 laps)
- Paul di Resta Force India â€“ 1:24.144 +1.528 (82 laps)
- Esteban Gutierrez Sauber â€“ 1:25.124 +2.508 (68 laps)
- Max Chilton Marussia â€“ 1:26.747 +4.131 (65 laps)
- Charles Pic Caterham â€“ 1:27.534 +4.918 (49 laps)
All timing unofficial.