Alonso heads Ferrari 1-2 in first practice
10 May 2013 – Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the pace during a wet/dry opening practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya on Friday morning. The Spaniard, who posted a best time of 1:25.252 during a late flurry of slick tyre runs, led team-mate Felipe Massa by 0.203 seconds, while Jean-Éric Vergne completed the top three runners.
While the opening two thirds of the session saw gradual improvements on the Intermediate rubber, the final half an hour was filled with plenty of dry tyre activity. Jean-Éric Vergne was the first man to take the gamble, putting on a set of Pirelli’s prototype Hard tyres, before the remainder of the field took note and made the switch.
Alonso ultimately came out on top in this phase, choosing to abandon one of his timed laps on the Hard tyre before delivering his fastest effort as the chequered flag fell. This was enough to finish two tenths ahead of Massa, who spent the majority of the session evaluating the run-off areas and gravel traps of the Montmeló venue.
Fellow Frenchmen Vergne and Romain Grosjean were next up, having both found the final chicane particularly challenging amid the mixed weather conditions. Adrian Sutil, whose Formula 1 return was sparked at the circuit back in March, wound up fifth, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Rosberg and Paul di Resta rounded out the top ten positions, pushing long-time leader Daniel Ricciardo down to 11th. Sergio Pérez was the leading McLaren driver in 13th place, as team-mate Jenson Button spent most of the session in his garage and refrained from posting a timed lap. The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finished in 19th and 20th positions.
The mixed weather conditions are expected to continue throughout the day, potentially hindering the teams as they bid to learn more about their latest upgrade packages.
Friday's second practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya begins at 2pm local time (GMT +2) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature