Alonso quickest in revised Ferrari in first practice

2012 Spanish Grand Prix first practice

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2012Fernando Alonso gave some cheer to Ferrari at his home race by lapping quickest in the revised F2012.

Ferrari ended the session fastest for the first time this year, Alonso setting a 1’24.430.

Sebastian Vettel (pictured) spent the first half hour of the session in the pits before emerging and briefly setting fastest time. He ended the session second, 0.378s slower than Alonso and a tenth ahead of Kamui Kobayashi.

McLaren ran the higher nose on their car and Jenson Button was fourth fastest on 1’24.996. Team mate Lewis Hamilton was eighth and complained of understeer in his car.

Williams reserve driver Valtteri Bottas was fifth-fastest, taking over for Bruno Senna in the first session as usual.

Michael Schumacher and Romain Grosjean made it seven different cars in the top seven. Nico Hulkenberg ran Force India’s new exhaust, floor and sidepods and ended the session tenth behind Kimi Raikkonen.

The times were very close in the first session, with 1.1s covering the top 14.

Dani Clos made his first appearance in F1 practice for HRT but ended the session slowest after his car came to a stop in the pits.

Fellow newcomer Alexander Rossi was 21st for Caterham, the team electing not to run the exhaust upgrade they tested at Mugello.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’24.43020
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’24.8080.37818
314Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’24.9120.48228
43Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.9960.56624
519Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’25.1200.69024
67Michael SchumacherMercedes1’25.1870.75715
710Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’25.2170.78716
84Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’25.2520.82220
99Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’25.2850.85529
1012Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’25.3390.90924
1117Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’25.3670.93722
126Felipe MassaFerrari1’25.4331.00321
132Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’25.5391.10923
148Nico RosbergMercedes1’25.6071.17720
1515Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’25.9181.48819
1616Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.2261.79624
1718Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’26.2971.86718
1811Jules BianchiForce India-Mercedes1’26.6302.20021
1921Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’27.4753.04520
2024Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’28.2673.83721
2120Alexander RossiCaterham-Renault1’28.4484.01825
2225Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’28.6334.20322
2322Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’29.1074.67719
2423Dani ClosHRT-Cosworth1’31.6187.18819

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Alonso quickest in revised Ferrari in first practice”

  1. Once again, there’s light years between Bottas an Maldonado. I think it’s only a matter of time before Bottas makes his debut.

    On the other hand, I’m surprised at the gap between Petrov and Rossi. I expected them to be much closer.

    1. I feel a bit sorry for Pastor. Certainly fans seem to take a dislike to him because of the Venezuelan money, but it’s only a combination of bad luck and over zealousness that’s stopped him from having a great start to the season. He’s a better driver than Bruno.

      1. @danbrown180 – When the music stops, I think it will be Bruno Senna who will be without a seat at Williams in 2013. Maybe sooner.

        Although Bottas shows such potential that I like to think that Williams will be able to ragain their footing and sign someone who inspires the same sense of awe as some of their previous drivers. Right now, neither Maldonado nor Bruno Senna will join the pantheon of Williams greats – Prost, Mansell, Ayrton Senna et al. But I’d like to believe that, some day, they’ll no longer be dependent upon pay drivers and can take two drivers with the same spirit to them as those who have gone before them.

        Of all the drivers on the 2012 grid, I think Fernando Alonso and Kamui Kobayashi (at least the Kobayashi of 2010) ill the definition of a Williams driver best.

        1. Well I see your point there

        2. I feel smug now

    2. They could be on different programs you know

      1. I hope they do, otherwise it would be embarrassing.

    3. I wouldn’t read too much into it, it’s not a given they were doing equal things that would allow us a straight comparison.

    4. Things look positive for Bottas, he has also added two sponser to the car this week (annouced ont he williams website) no where near the money that the others bring but it all counts,
      with regards to the times though, if you look apart from the Lotus and Mclarens most of the other teams have well over half a second seperating drivers with several over a second, looks more like split evaluation of set ups than actual pace to me.

  2. gO FERRARI!!!!

  3. Can’t read too much into session, but the pack seems to have tightned.

    1. Very tight. Massa P12 but just 1.003 off the pace.

  4. Alonso time is on hard rubber?

    1. @prdsh Everyone used the hard tyres, that’s usually the case in FP1.

  5. Nick Yelloly, who won the opening race of the Formula Renault 3.5 season at Aragon last weekend, just Tweeted:

    Interesting to see that our times from the @WSR_Live test at Barcelona are only 5.5 secs off the fastest time in F1 practice this morning!

    This is an interesting angle to keep an eye on, especially as the Formula Renault 3.5 cars are much quicker this year and closer to the pace of GP2 – possibly faster.

    Last year F1 saw over 3s of track evolution from FP1 to Q3. Once qualifying’s done and dusted we’ll have some useful data to compare performance in F1’s two main feeder series.

    1. I was watching the F1 2004 season review last night (with your mate Will Buxton doing commentary!) and it’s quite shocking how much quicker those cars look through the corners.

      1. @ecwdanselby Isn’t it Ben Edwards that narrates the 2004 DVD? :-P

        1. Yep, you’re absolutely right!

          I struggle to tell the difference between the two at times.

    2. GP2s are doing 1:31 laps in practice at the moment…

      I’m looking forward to Monaco, where both series are racing. Have they both raced at the same meeting before? if they did, who was faster?

    3. Thats close to the HRT pace.

      Instead of developing their own car, maybe HRT should just take the Renault 3.5 and adjust it so that it complies with the F1 regulations. Surely just by replacing the engine with the Cosworth V8 they would find a few seconds. ( and be in a better place that they are now for less money)

      Would be interesting to see them enter the Renault 3.5 race to see where they finish (IF the finish that is). I predict that they would not win the championship. Now that would be quite embarrassing.

  6. Alonso finally showed some pace in practice year! I know this is just a practice but certainly not a bad news also I’m happy with it :)

    1. The important part is how he’ll fare on the soft tyres, since the Ferrari has been very sensitive to them.

  7. Being a McLaren fan………little concerned!! I hope its false worry!

    1. Don’t worry, its early days @preekel, remember last year how Vettel was often at the back-end of the top 15 during FP1 last year? See nothing to worry about.

  8. Maybe Bottas had a qualify-oriented programme and Maldonado focused on the race configuration?

    1. Eleanore (@leucocrystal)
      12th May 2012, 0:23

      It seems most teams run their two drivers on different programs, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. Why some tend to read so much into FP1 and FP2 results when this is the general practice is beyond me.

  9. Good to see Alonso catering for his loyal supporters. Things look pretty close so that’s promising.

  10. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan)
    11th May 2012, 14:27

    Too early to read into it, but i am happy to see a positive at Ferrari.

    As Alonso says, we will see on Sunday where they really are.

    Have they brought the Ferrarauber? or whatever they called it?

    1. Actually new F2012’s exhaust is similar to Mercedes or Lotus rather than Sauber. It’s quite a basic solution which blow the gas to center area of beam wing not diffuser.

  11. kilrcola (@adelaidef1fan)
    11th May 2012, 14:44

    I don’t care who they copied.. so long as it works haha.

  12. Am I right in thinking this is the first time a non-Mercedes powered car has topped the timesheets at the end of practice this year?

    Maybe things are getting tighter, I’d love for Ferrari to turn their season around and get back on top of things, it’d add a lot to an already brilliant season…

Comments are closed.