Webber tops first day of final Barcelona test
28 February 2013 – Mark Webber set the pace on the opening day of the final pre-season test in Barcelona, producing a late flying lap of 1:22.693 on Soft tyres. The Red Bull driver took advantage of drying conditions to lead Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by over one and a half seconds, while Jean-Éric Vergne rounded out the top three.
After a morning interrupted by Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez's respective off-track excursions, ever-improving afternoon conditions encouraged plenty of action. Felipe Massa initially looked to have the upper-hand on the Intermediates, but he slipped well down the order when his F138 chassis ground to a halt at Campsa, an incident which initiated the third and final red flag phase of the day. When the pit lane reopened for the final ten minutes of track time, Webber took his opportunity to shine.
Sergio Pérez, who has struggled to get to grips with McLaren's MP4-28 so far this year, was next up after a typically quiet start to the day. The Mexican produced his fastest time during an eight-lap stint on the Intermediate tyres in the afternoon session, finishing directly ahead of compatriot Gutiérrez who recovered to sixth after his early accident.
Di Resta, who finally knows the identity of his team-mate, finished the day in seventh place after some lengthy spells in the Force India garage, while Massa had to settle for eighth following his late afternoon stoppage. Marussia's Max Chilton managed to jump ahead of Caterham driver Charles Pic before the chequered flag came out, leaving Romain Grosjean at the foot of the timing screens after a day of aero runs.
Pre-season testing continues at the Circuit de Catalunya at 9am local time (GMT +1) on Friday and can be followed via the GPUpdate.net Live Report feature