Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Alonso quickest after afternoon wash-out

Fernando Alonso finished Tuesday's first day of in-season testing at the top of the timesheets after the rain caused havoc on the afternoon session

The Ferrari driver, who is testing new parts for the team's under-performing F2012 at the Ferrari owned track, clocked 1:22.444 during the morning's session.

That opening stint took place on a drying track with drivers swapping from the full Pirelli wets to the intermediates and finally onto the slick tyres.

However, in the afternoon it was all about the wets as the skies opened and a deluge was dropped on the Italian circuit. Such were the conditions that at one point the circuit had to be closed as the medical helicopter could not take off due to poor light.

The weather severely limited running as most of the 11 teams present opted not to put in any laps as the risk of going off was too great. And, with a limited number of tyres available to each team, it made more sense to wait until Wednesday when better weather has been forecast.

The dismal weather in the afternoon meant Mark Webber finished in second place and was not able to close the gap, down by over a second, while Jean-Eric Vergne, who brought out the red flags early in the morning, was third quickest.

It was a solid day's running for Lotus test driver Jerome D'Ambrosio who was fourth quickest ahead of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

The German finished with a 1:24.100, which was just under two seconds off the pace, before handing the car over to his team-mate Michael Schumacher for the afternoon session.

"It was good. We learned some valuable things this morning in the wet," Rosberg told Sky Sports. "Lately, we haven't been that strong in Malaysia, so that was useful.

"We even got some dry running in in the end; we did some useful tests there already, so we learned something, which was great, so it was a good start to the test here.

"It's an impressive track. It's very, very fast and fun out there and it's good preparation for Barcelona, for the high-speed corners there."

Kamui Kobayashi was sixth quickest ahead of Oliver Turvey, who was in action for McLaren, while Jules Bianchi was eighth fastest for Force India.

01. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m22.444
02. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m23.648 + 1.204
03. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.891 + 1.447
04. Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1m24.048 + 1.604
05. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.100 + 1.656
06. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.736 + 2.292
07. Oliver Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.303 + 2.859
08. Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1m25.475 + 3.031
09. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham-Renault 1m27.197 + 4.753
10. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.359 + 4.915
11. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m29.179 + 6.735
12. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.898 + 28.454
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes No time

Source: Planet-F1

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