Rosberg sets fastest time on first day of testing in Barcelona

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg laid down the unoffical fast lap on the opening day of testing on the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Second went to Lotus F1's Kimi Raikkonen.

With a time of 1:22.616 in the Mercedes F1 W04, Nico Rosberg had the best unofficial lap time on the 4.655 kms Circuit de Catalunya on the first of the four days the FIA Formula One Championship testing in Barcelona, Spain. Rosberg covered a total of 54 laps after sitting in the garage during the morning session with a gearbox issue. He completed the car tests the team wanted today which included tire management on the 2013 Pirellis. His teammate Lewis Hamilton will have his turn tomorrow.

"We were able to work through a good programme this afternoon and, of course, it's always nice to be quickest at the end of the day. There is still some work to be done on tyre degradation and our programme this afternoon was helpful in understanding that," said Rosberg.

Kimi Raikkonen showed again the speed of the new E21 with its Renault engine. The Finn put only 44 laps on the Lotus F1 car -- the fewest laps for any team today -- but he did clock a lap time of 1:22.623. Per the team, the reason was due to telemetry data-logging issues.The goal for the team and the Raikkonen is to log more laps tomorrow.

Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari F138
Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari F138

Photo by: XPB Images

“It wasn’t an ideal day in terms of the number of laps we completed, but the car feels strong and we’ve made some good progress. After Jerez it’s nice to be at a circuit where we race and the E21 is definitely a step in the right direction. There’s lots of work yet to do this week but I’m happy with where we are at the moment," Raikkonen said.

Fernando Alonso climbed into the cockpit of the new Ferrari for the first time since the F138 was launched. He was absent during the Jerez test days. However, the sub-champion by a mere three points last year was back inform today, and ended up with the third fastest time at 1:22.952. The Spaniard toured the circuit for a grand total of 110 laps which was the most by any driver today.

Unfortunately for rookie driver Esteban Gutierrez ended earlier than expected. He did put 68 laps on the Sauber F1 Ferrari with a best lap time of 1:25.124 after earlier feedback on the aero work the team had planned until he ran out of fuel during a morning fuel run, and the car was returned to the garage on a flatbed. However in the afternoon when testing tyre comparisons and setup changes on the C32, his only concern he said, "It was quite a tricky day with the tyres. We were struggling with tyre management and, as a result, degradation."

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering for the Sauber team only said, "Due to a few small issues we weren’t able to complete our full programme, but we are confident we will be back on track tomorrow."

Unofficial times

Pos. Driver Car Time Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.616 54
2 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1:22.623 44
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:22.952 110
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:22.965 66
5 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:23.733 86
6 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.884 73
7 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:24.124 77
8 Paul Di Resta Sahara Force India 1:24.144 82
9 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:25.124 68
10 Max Chilton Marussia 1:26.747 65
11 Charles Pic Caterham 1:27.534 49
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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Fernando Alonso , Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg , Pastor Maldonado , Sebastian Vettel , Sergio Perez , Daniel Ricciardo , Max Chilton , Esteban Gutierrez , Charles Pic
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Force India , Toro Rosso , Williams , Lotus F1 Team
Article type Testing report
Tags barcelona, catalunya, raikkonen, rosberg