Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus set the early pace on Friday in Barcelona.
Red Bull’s ace ended Friday practice with his best lap time of 1:22.808. In the closing minutes of the second practice in Barcelona, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso went head-to-head for the fastest lap in Formula One’s practice day.
In the first practice on a wet circuit, Alonso landed the fastest lap for his homeland grand prix.
"We have some new parts here but the days of big, big upgrades don’t really happen now with the regulations how they are," said Vettel adding his thoughts on the new harder Prielli prototype tyre that the teams were testing today. "It’s hard to say much about the harder tyre, I think the number of pit stops will be the same here in this race as at the last few."
In the afternoon session, Ferrari’s Alonso was just 0.017 of a second off the pace of the three-consecutive FIA Formula One World Champion.
Third best was Mark Webber in his Red Bull-Renault; he was 0.083 seconds off his teammate's pace. "We couldn’t have got more out of it today really, the weather made things a bit tricky, but it was a pretty good day overall," he said.
The Australian was followed by Kimi Raikkonen for the Lotus-Renault team. "We finished the day not too far off the fastest time, so we can say that the day wasn’t a disaster, but for sure there are some things we have to improve with the car which is normal after the first day’s running," said the Finn.
Raikkonen added, "The circuit isn’t an easy one to understand in terms of tyre performance"
Placing fifth was Felipe Massa.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton spun of the track but collected himself to lay down the sixth fastest lap. His teammate Nico Rosberg was seventh for the day.
The McLaren boys were evaluated a major package upgrade including a new front wing. Jenson Button’s best lap 12th best with Sergio Perez 13th.
The Formula 1 drivers have a final practice tomorrow prior to qualifying for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.