Nico Rosberg narrowly edged out Kimi Raikkonen to put Mercedes on top on the first day of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona.
Both men found improvements after bolting on Pirelli’s medium-compound rubber in the final 20 minutes of the day.
Minutes later Raikkonen staged his own late rally, but despite bettering Rosberg’s sector two time he fell seven thousandths of a second short of putting Lotus on top.
TUESDAY'S TIMES Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.616s 2. Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.623s +0.007 44 3. Alonso Ferrari 1m22.952s +0.336 4. Vettel Red Bull 1m22.965s +0.349 5. Maldonado Williams 1m23.733s +1.117 6. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.884s +1.268 7. Perez McLaren 1m24.124s +1.508 8. Di Resta Force India 1m24.144s +1.528 9. Gutierrez Sauber 1m25.124s +2.508 10. Chilton Marussia 1m26.747s +4.131 11. Pic Caterham 1m27.534s +4.918
Kimi Raikkonen became the first man to lap under 1m24s in the morning with a 1m23.5s. Alonso closed to within half a tenth of the Lotus, but then Vettel took charge going into the final half hour. A series of improvements got the Red bull to 1m23.046s, 0.525s clear of Raikkonen.
Morning times: Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m23.046s 25 2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m23.571s + 0.525s 19 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.626s + 0.580s 44 4. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m23.733s + 0.687s 47 5. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.884s + 0.838s 44 6. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m24.124s + 1.078s 22 7. Paul di Resta Force India 1m24.144s + 1.098s 47 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.520s + 1.474s 14 9. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m25.136s + 2.090s 38 10. Charles Pic Caterham 1m27.534s + 4.488s 40 11. Max Chilton Marussia 1m28.068s + 5.022s 36
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