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Rosberg sets the pace at Barcelona

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.

autos Updated: Feb 21, 2013 16:03 IST
barcelona f1 test
Rosberg-sets-the-pace-at-Barcelona

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.

Rosberg, whose morning had been disrupted by lengthy gearbox checks, was the first to make his move. New overall bests in the final two sectors produced a lap of 1m22.616s and vaulted him to the top of the timesheets.

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.

Fernando Alonso, again on mediums, was another late improver.

On his first day in the Ferrari F138 last year's championship runner-up worked his way down to a 1m22.952s to end the day in third.

The flurry of late improvements knocked morning pacesetter and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel down to fourth.

The German had gradually improved his lunchtime best and was the first man to dip into the 1m22s bracket, only to be bumped down the order in theclosing stages.

Having launched its FW35 in the morning, Williams ended the day in fifth position courtesy of Pastor Maldonado, a racewinner at Barcelona last year.

The Venezuelan spent time at the top of the timesheets in the morning and racked up 85 laps in total, behind only Alonso in 110.

Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso STR8 shaded McLaren's Sergio Perez in the fight for sixth, while Paul di Resta - the day's third busiest man - was just two hundredths of a second down the road for Force India.

After bringing about the day's first red flag with an early out-of-fuel run, Esteban Gutierrez was ninth fastest and just over 2.5s off the overall pace for Sauber.

Charles Pic was the only other man to cause a stoppage, pulling to the inside of Renault due to a mechanical issue with his Caterham.

He dropped to 11th in the afternoon as Marussia's Max Chilton found improvements with the soft tyre.

Tuesday times:
Pos Driver       Team     Time         Laps Tyre* 1. Nico Rosberg    Mercedes   1m22.616s      54  Medium 2. Kimi Raikkonen   Lotus    1m22.672s + 0.007s 44  Medium 3. Fernando Alonso  Ferrari   1m22.952s + 0.336s 110  Medium 4. Sebastian Vettel  Red Bull   1m22.965s + 0.349s 66  Medium 5. Pastor Maldonado  Williams   1m23.733s + 1.117s 86  Soft 6. Daniel Ricciardo  Toro Rosso  1m23.884s + 1.268s 73  Hard 7. Sergio Perez    McLaren   1m24.124s + 1.508s 77  Medium 8. Paul di Resta   Force India 1m24.144s + 1.528s 82  Medium 9. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber    1m25.124s + 2.508s 68  Hard
10. Max Chilton    Marussia   1m26.747s + 4.131s 65  Soft
11. Charles Pic    Caterham   1m27.534s + 4.918s 49  Hard