Sebastian Vettel led the first day of testing in Valencia
Sebastian Vettel led the first test session of the 2011 season in his new RB7 car.
He was just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, driving the Force India, with Gary Paffett in the McLaren half a second behind.
A 1.13.769 was the best out of 93 laps for Vettel, with Hulkenberg 0.17 seconds off. Paul di Resta only did 28 laps, but was 4th with a 1.17.461.
Fernando Alonso stopped out on track in the last few minutes of the session, but was still 5th fastest, having set 98 laps today. Kamui Kobayashi was 1.8 seconds off Vettel in 6th, Jerome D’Ambrosio was 7th for Virgin.
Vitaly Petrov was 8th, while Michael Schumacher had a hydraulic problem, and could only manage 16 laps. Jaime Alguersuari was 10th, Rubens Barrichello 11th, and Narain Karthikeyan 12th for HRT.
Nico Rosberg shared the Mercedes Wo2 with Schumacher, but was 6 seconds off the pace with only 9 laps on the board. He also suffered hydraulic problems, which stopped him from being able to change gear.
Despite their problems, Schumacher was still upbeat for the season:
"Interesting but short. Obviously we had expected to do a bit more laps
today but nevertheless it’s always exciting after a long winter break to get
back into the car and drive.
It’s a beautiful car, from the look. And inside we had little running,
obviously, but the feeling is positive. Tomorrow we’ll have a proper working
day and hopefully proper running.
I’m very optimistic about this, absolutely. Nothing has changed from what we
have learned through the winter from the couple of laps we have been doing
today. Not being able to analyse what the others are doing, knowing fuel
levels. I’m not worried in any way that we cannot fulfil our targets and
that’s a minimum of podiums and hopefully victories."
Note: Force India, McLaren, HRT and Virgin all completed this test in their 2010 cars.
Times from today’s testing:
Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1.13.769 93
2. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1.13.938s 0.169s 71
3. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1.14.292s 0.523s 91
4. Paul di Resta Force India 1.14.461s 0.692s 28
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.14.553s 0.784s 97
6. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1.15.621s 1.852s 68
7. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin 1.16.003s 2.234s 71
8. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.16.351s 2.582s 28
9. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1.16.450s 2.681s 15
10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1.17.214s 3.445s 19
11. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1.17.335s 3.566s 77
12. Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1.18.020s 4.251s 45
13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.19.930s 6.161s 9