2011 VALENCIA F1 TEST SESSION, DAY 1 REPORT

Sebastian Vettel ended the much anticipated opening day of testing at Valencia in the style of a world champion by finishing on top of the lap times. Eleven of the 12 teams hit the track today (with Lotus joining tomorrow) and the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari spent much of the day around the frontrunning pace.

While those teams running 2010 cars had largely trouble-free and competitive days, there were a few teething troubles for some of the new cars. Mercedes was the first casualty of the day when Nico Rosberg stopped on the start/finish straight with a hydraulic leak. Michael Schumacher brought the repaired car back out later in the afternoon to complete 15 laps.

Alonso brought the day to a slightly premature end when his Ferrari stopped out on track at Turn 3 with just a couple of minutes remaining. The session was red-flagged while he restarted and cruised back to the pits, and time had expired by the time he arrived. Williams had problem with its KERS, but Rubens Barrichello had done 78 laps by the end of the day

Another intriguing point of interest in the paddock was on the Renault and where its exhausts emerge from the bodywork. There are several theories doing the rounds, but the most subscribed one is that they emerge near the front of the floor to improve the effect of the blown diffuser. Understandably, Renault was not taking questions on its latest innovation.
P.    Driver               Team                 Time        Gap   Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault* 1m13.769s 93
2. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m13.938s + 0.169s 71
3. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1m14.292s + 0.523s 91
4. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m14.461s + 0.692s 28
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari* 1m14.553s + 0.784s 97
6. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari* 1m15.621s + 1.852s 68
7. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m16.003s + 2.234s 71
8. Vitaly Petrov Renault* 1m16.351s + 2.582s 28
9. Michael Schumacher Mercedes* 1m16.450s + 2.681s 15
10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari* 1m17.214s + 3.445s 19
11. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth* 1m17.335s + 3.566s 77
12. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m18.020s + 4.251s 45
13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes* 1m19.930s + 6.161s 9