Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso set the fastest time of the first day of testing at the Mugello circuit Tuesday despite the torrential rain that made the conditions really difficult.
Overnight rain and morning fog caused a slow start to the day. The weather steadily cleared until lunchtime when heavy, driving rain returned for the remainder of the afternoon.
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (Photo: Ferrari)
Alonso, driving the F2012, set his fast lap early in the day. Australian Mark Webber put his Red Bull-Renault in second place ahead of Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari and test driver Jerome d'Ambrosio in the Lotus.
After lunch, the conditions became so terrible that several team decided to stop running in order to save tires for the two remaining days. Teams are allocated 100 sets of Pirelli rubber for tests at the start of the year. A crowd of 15,000 came to see the F1 cars in action.
“It's a shame about the rain, which complicated the running of this first day of testing and a shame for the spectators who deserved to see more of a show,” commented Fernando Alonso.
“We had a pretty busy work programme, but we only managed to get through a part of it. Therefore, it's impossible to give a serious evaluation, especially as we did so little dry running. I can only say that, for me, it was a pleasure to be driving at this track again: the first and only other time was back in 2001, when I was testing for Minardi. It's a spectacular track and it would be nice to be able to race on it!”
Mid-season test, circuit de Mugello, Italy, Day 1*:
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m22.444s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m23.648s
3. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.891s
4. Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1m24.048s
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.100s
6. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.736s
7. Oliver Turvey McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.303s
8. Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1m25.475s
9. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham-Renault 1m27.197s
10. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.359s
11. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m29.179s
12. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.898s
13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes No time
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