[QODLink]
Formula One

Sergio Perez quickest in F1 testing

New Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has a busy day as his replacement Sergio Perez heads the bunch in Barcelona.
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2013 19:40
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton takes some time out of practice to sign autographs for fans [AP]

New McLaren driver Sergio Perez set the fastest lap on the second day of Formula One testing at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday.

The Mexican, who has moved from Sauber to replace 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton at the team, completed 97 laps - early one-and-a-half times the Spanish Grand Prix race distance - with a best time of one minute 21.848 seconds on the soft tyres. 

Perez did a series of shorter runs in the morning and then longer ones in the afternoon focusing on familiarising the driver with systems and procedures including the cockpit switches and radio messaging.

Red Bull's triple world champion Sebastian Vettel had been the fastest before lunch, although testing times must be treated with caution since teams are working through different programmes, but was forced to end his session early.

"We had some issues with reliability today and we couldn't do as many laps as we wanted"

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel

"We had some issues with reliability today and we couldn't do as many laps as we wanted," said the German, who was still second fastest overall (1:22.197) and did 84 laps.

"It was nothing disastrous, just small things that hampered us today."

The team's race engineering coordinator Andy Damerum said the problems would be resolved by the start of Thursday's session with Australian Mark Webber.

"The stops we had today weren't too serious...we know where the issues are," he said.

Kimi Raikkonen was third on the timesheets for Lotus (1:22.697) although the 2007 champion was sidelined for much of the morning and part of the afternoon by a gearbox problem.

Hamilton, now with Mercedes, was fourth fastest in 1:22.726 after completing a whopping 121 laps - the most of any driver - with his best lap set on the hard tyres in the morning.

"We had a good day and it was nice to get so many laps in," said the Briton.

"We're making continual steps forward in terms of our understanding of the set-up and the tyres.

"The guys are working really hard both here and at the factory and it's encouraging to see the amount of work that's being put in. We're focusing on our own programme and just getting on with it."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest.

The second test of the pre-season ends on Friday. The first race is in Australia on March 17.

400

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
In Brussels, NGO staff are being trained to fill the shortfall of field workers in West Africa.
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
join our mailing list