Rosberg fastest during tight Barcelona day 1 testing

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Let’s all hope that the Formula 1 season is as close as testing was during the first day at Barcelona.

Seriously. Check out the unofficial time sheet:

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:22.616, 54 laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 1:22.623, 44 laps
3. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:22.952, 110 laps
4. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:22.965, 66 laps
5. Pastor Maldonado, Williams, 1:23.733, 86 laps
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1:23.884, 73 laps
7. Sergio Perez, McLaren, 1:24.124, 77 laps
8. Paul di Resta, Force India, 1:24.144, 82 laps
9. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1:25.124, 68 laps
10. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1:26.747, 65 laps
11. Charles Pic, Caterham, 1:27.534, 49 laps

The top four teams are within about 1/3 a second of each other, and then there’s Sergio Perez who may be trying to get on the “first out of the season” list. Seriously, Sergio? 1:24?

Here is perhaps the key words from time sheet topper Rosberg: “[The car] feels better than the last time we were here at this track.”

Rosberg added: “We had a mixed day today with some laps lost this morning. However 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.”

That mixed day was because of a gearbox problem, which led to his relatively short run.

Kimi also had a short day, due to “data-logging issues.” Coincidentally, that has been Grace’s recent excuse for any blunders she might have made. Are those two in cahoots?

The day also marked Alonso’s first time in this year’s Ferrari, so I’m going to give him a little space to express himself:

“I feel reasonably pleased with this first day and I can say I share Felipe’s opinion that the car is on another planet compared to the one we began with on the first day of testing last year. The programme for this first session in Barcelona is aimed mainly at improving reliability, with the target of completing more than a hundred laps every day. Then, at next week’s test we can concentrate on performance. Tomorrow, we will complete what we were unable to do today and we will focus on car set-up, to adapt it as well as possible to the tyres. I knew from looking at the Jerez data what sort of car I would find here today, as in fact we know more or less what we will see at the first race in Australia, in terms of what new parts we will have and how many tenths they will produce. This is down to all the work done over the winter in the wind tunnel and the numerous tests which confirm that the parts that are on their way will give the expected results.”

“Reasonably pleased” sounds pretty promising, right? Perhaps 2013 is shaping up as a competitive and exciting year?

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