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Fernando Alonso leads first day of testing in Mugello - Mid-season testing gets underway in Italy

Published by Christine

Force India at Mugello
Credit: Sahara Force India Formula One Team
Charles Pic at Mugello
Credit: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic
Mark Webber at Mugello
Credit: Getty Images
Jérôme D'Ambrosio at Mugello
Credit: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic

The first proper mid-season testing got underway today in Mugello, with terrible weather conditions limiting running. The bravest of Italian fans turned up to watch their team top the times, but in a full day of testing, no one completed more than 50 laps. There were red flags aplenty as the day wore on, and the running had to be abandoned for a period when the poor conditions would have stopped the emergency helicopter taking off.

Williams had test and reserve driver Valtteri Bottas in the car, and the Finn completed 28 laps and finished the day in 11th.

It wasn’t ideal weather for testing unfortunately. However, we completed some aero runs this morning when the track dried out a little and gathered some useful data. I feel we made the most out of the conditions and got as much out of the day as we could. The track is really great so it’s a shame I didn’t get more running in the dry.

- Valtteri Bottas

It was Fernando Alonso who made the best of a bad day, finishing over a second ahead of Mark Webber. Toro Rosso were close up behind their sister team, Jean-Éric Vergne finishing less than two tenths behind Webber's Red Bull.

2012 Mid-Season Testing - Day 1, Mugello
1Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:22.44446
2Mark WebberRed Bull1:23.64824
3Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso1:23.89132
4Jérôme D'AmbrosioLotus1:24.04840
5Nico RosbergMercedes1:24.10049
6Kamui KobayashiSauber1:24.73648
7Oliver TurveyMcLaren1:25.30330
8Jules BianchiForce India1:25.47519
9Rodolfo GonzálezCaterham1:27.19735
10Charles PicMarussia1:27.35945
11Valtteri BottasWilliams1:29.17928
12Gary PaffettMcLaren1:50.8984
13Michael SchumacherMercedesNo Time5

Both Mercedes drivers were in action today, although Michael Schumacher only completed five laps without setting a time. Rosberg was fast enough to go fifth, with Jérôme D'Ambrosio - in at Lotus - finishing fourth. Other new faces included Oliver Turvey for McLaren, as the team have already confirmed neither race driver will be at Mugello, and Rodolfo González at Caterham.

Tim Wright, Rodolfo's engineer today, has just given Rodolfo the nod to prepare to get back in the car so we're not too far from firing up. Tim's normal job is Performance Engineer for Vitaly, so this test is another chance for him to hone his skills as a Race Engineer. This is another benefit of the tests - it's not only up-and-coming drivers who can learn in the tests, it's all aspects of the team.

Caterham_F1Team Caterham_F1Team

45 laps under our belt - all running is good running. Good early signs from our new aero package and a dry forecast should help us tomorrow

Marussia_F1Team Marussia_F1Team

We've even got thunder rumbling in the background now... an absolute washout here in Italy; who'd have thought? #F1

Lotus_F1Team Lotus_F1Team

Did 10 dry laps today around Mugello, which is the same as doing 1000 laps around Abu Dhabi track in terms of satisfaction.#realtracks #fast

AussieGrit AussieGrit

The weather wasn't all bad news, as the rain provided some great photographs - enjoy this F1 Big Picture from the first day of the test.

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