Thursday February 21, 2013
Mercedes’ Rosberg sets the pace in Catalunya
BARCELONA: German driver Nico Rosberg recorded the fastest time on the first full day of the second series of Formula One testing on Tuesday, clocking 1:22.616 in his Mercedes.
Rosberg, son of Finland’s former world champion Keke, was just a fraction faster than Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, with Spanish driver Fernando Alonso third-fastest in his new Ferrari model.
“It’s always nice to be quickest at the end of the day,” said Rosberg.
“In general, I feel happy and comfortable in the car, and it feels better than the last time we were here at this track.
“The car feels decent out there. It has a much, much better base.
“You can feel its centre of gravity is lower, the aero is better, the platform is better.
“It feels a lot stronger. It’s a pleasure to drive because it’s a lot faster than last year.”
Spain’s two-time world champion had not driven in the earlier testing session in Jerez but made an immediate impression here.
Alonso, who lost out on the title last season to Sebastian Vettel by just three points having led going into the final race of the season in Brazil, recorded a quickest time of 1:22.952.
He pushed three-time world champion Vettel, who had set the fastest time in the morning session, into fourth.
The German was three tenths of a second slower than Rosberg in his Red Bull.
The new season opens in Australia on March 17.
Times: 1. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:22.616, 2. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus-Renault 1:22.623, 3. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:22.952, 4. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault 1:22.965, 5. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams-Renault 1:23.733,
6. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.884, 7. Sergio Perez (Mex) McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.124, 8. Paul di Resta (Bri) Force India-Mercedes 1:24.144, 9. Esteban Gutierrez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.124, 10. Max Chilton (Bri) Marussia-Cosworth 1:26.747, 11. Charles Pic (Fra) Caterham-Renault 1:27.534. — Agencies