Button sets fastest time on first day of preseason testing in Jerez

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Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes driver Jenson Button closed out day one of the first preseason test on the Jerez circuit with the fastest unofficial time.

The first day of preseason testing for the Formula One teams to kick off the start of preparation for the first grand prix in Australia is really more of a shakedown of their new 2013 cars – except for the Williams F1 team who will be using their spec 2012 car.

The Jerez de la Frontera circuit is one that the teams do not race on during the season, but it is one of their favorite ones to test at. Taking the fastest unofficial time of 1:18.861 today was Jenson Button in the new Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes MP4-28.

Despite the loss of time due to a “mechanical fuel-pump” in the morning, the car had no major issues to slow it down in the afternoon. Yet at the end of the day, Button was clearly ahead by eight-tenths of a second on the new Pirelli hard-compound tyres. Tomorrow, new team driver Sergio Perez will get his turn to test the new 2013 challenger.

Mark Webber was second with a time of 1:19.709 for the Infiniti Red Bull Renault team. The Australian was able to put down 73 laps in the RB9. The new Pirelli tyres were a key area in today’s first test day.

Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing
Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: XPB Images

Webber said, “It was actually like a Friday practice session in some regards. We started understanding the tyres and there were a lot of positives,” he added. “There’s a bit of housekeeping we have to get on top of but, other than that, it’s been encouraging. The car feels similar to last year’s, so the main difference is the tyres. With these tyres you’re always on your toes.”

Third was Romain Grosjean for the Lotus-Renault team after Webber dropped him down a slot. Grosjean’s time was a 1:19.796.

Only one incident happened when rookie driver Max Chilton went off the track due to a failure in the rear suspension on the newly launched Marussia-Cosworth.

Unofficial Times

Pos Driver Constructor Best time Laps
1 Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m 18.861s 37
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m 19.709s 73
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m 19.796s 54
4 Paul di Resta Force India 1m 20.343s 89
5 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rossa 1m 20.401s 70
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m 20.536s 64
7 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m 20.699s 79
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1m 20.846s 11
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m 20.864s 84
10 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m 21.915s 64
11 Max Chilton Marussia 1m 24.176s 29
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Series F1
Article type Testing report
Tags button, f1, jerez, mclaren, mercedes, red bull, renault, testing, webber

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