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Vettel leads the way as the first Barcelona test begins // The first day at the next testing track starts with Red Bull on top

Published by Christine

Sebastian Vettel saw Red Bull back to the top of the timesheets on the first day of testing in Barcelona today. Nico Hülkenberg led the way for Force India early on, but it didn't take long for Vettel to jump him, and he never looked back. Many of the teams were putting in long stints, with both Lewis Hamilton and Charles Pic topping the 100 laps mark.

The big news of the day, of course, came from Lotus, who stopped running after just seven laps. They had talked of bringing a spare chassis in, but eventually decided against it. The team won't run for the rest of this test in Barcelona, preferring to make the fixes back in the factory. They are confident they'll be back for the second and final pre-season test next week.

The double world champ back in his rightful place
The double world champ back in his rightful placeCredit: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

A couple of other teams found they had mechanical troubles as well, with both Caterham, Mercedes and Sauber suffering reliability issues. These weren't quite as severe as the Lotus problem, and the show will go on!

A couple of tweets from the ground:

Another busy and productive day at the track in Barcelona. Nico clocked up 97 laps with a best of 1:23.440, the second fastest of the day.

clubforce clubforce

End of the first day of the group test in Barcelona. A good morning with a hydraulic problem then bringing an early end this afternoon...

MercedesAMGF1 MercedesAMGF1

Session finished with no lap time improvement. We're still working on data acquisition to understand better the behaviour of the new car.

InsideFerrari InsideFerrari

2012 Pre-Season Testing - Day 1, Barcelona
PositionDriverTeamTimeLaps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:23.26579
2Nico HülkenbergForce India1:23.44097
3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1:23.590114
4Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso1:23.61876
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:24.10075
6Michael SchumacherMercedes1:24.15051
7Sergio PérezSauber1:24.21966
8Bruno SennaWilliams1:25.71197
9Heikki KovalainenCaterham1:26.03531
10Romain GrosjeanLotus1:26.8097
11Charles PicMarussia1:28.026121

All content in the series F1 testing 2012