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F1 Testing: Vettel sets early pace for Red Bull at Barcelona

Sebastian Vettel, Red BullSebastian Vettel and Red Bull were quickest by a comfortable half-second margin as Formula 1 2013 winter testing resumed at Barcelona on Tuesday morning.

Even by testing standards, the initial session featured little activity at first, with most teams remaining coy and focusing on shakedowns and aero tests for the opening part of the morning.

Once the more serious runs began, times came down quickly and first place changed hands repeatedly.

On the morning that launched its new FW35, Williams spelt a long spell on top with Pastor Maldonado.

Nico Rosberg then put Mercedes ahead, before Sergio Perez edged in front after a long pause to reset in the McLaren garage.

As he tried the Ferrari F138 for the first time, Fernando Alonso deposed Perez for a few minutes only for Paul di Resta's Force India to snatch first place away again and Vettel to then vault both.

Kimi Raikkonen then became the first man to lap under 1m24s in the morning with a 1m23.5s. Alonso closed to within half a tenth of the Lotus, but then Vettel took charge going into the final half hour.

A series of improvements got the Red bull to 1m23.046s, 0.525s clear of Raikkonen.

Alonso, Maldonado and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo were next up.

Perez completed the session in sixth, followed by di Resta, Nico Rosberg and Esteban Gutierrez, with Charles Pic and Max Chilton bringing up the rear in the Caterham and Marussia.

The only stoppage of the morning came when Gutierrez's Sauber deliberately ran out of fuel at Turn 7.

Morning times:
Pos  Driver               Team          Time                  Laps 
 1.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull      1m23.046s             25
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus         1m23.571s  + 0.525s   19
 3.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari       1m23.626s  + 0.580s   44
 4.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams      1m23.733s  + 0.687s   47
 5.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso    1m23.884s  + 0.838s   44
 6.  Sergio Perez         McLaren       1m24.124s  + 1.078s   22
 7.  Paul di Resta        Force India   1m24.144s  + 1.098s   47
 8.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes      1m24.520s  + 1.474s   14
 9.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber        1m25.136s  + 2.090s   38
10.  Charles Pic          Caterham      1m27.534s  + 4.488s   40
11.  Max Chilton          Marussia      1m28.068s  + 5.022s   36
British GP competition
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