Barcelona F1 test: Alonso sets early day-three pace

Fernando Alonso led the way on Thursday morning in Barcelona Formula 1 winter testing

Barcelona F1 test: Alonso sets early day-three pace

The Ferrari was quickest for the majority of the four-hour session.

Alonso and Williams's Pastor Maldonado swapped the top spot for a spell as both did short runs on soft tyres, but Alonso then started edging clear with repeated small improvements.

Nico Hulkenberg ultimately got closest for Sauber, lapping 0.286s adrift of Alonso on a quick soft-tyre run of his own.

Romain Grosjean took the Lotus over from Kimi Raikkonen and completed the top three.

Mercedes made a slow start to the morning, focusing on data-gathering. That meant a long garage sojourn while the various measuring appendages were removed, after which Nico Rosberg got up to fourth.

Following his early dice with Alonso, Maldonado concentrated on much longer runs, completing an ample 79 laps before lunch.

He will hand over to team-mate Valtteri Bottas for the remainder of the day.

Jenson Button completed the top six for McLaren.

Adrian Sutil's return with Force India gathered plenty of interest. The German was fully engaged with the team's development programme, starting off with aerodynamic tests before lapping a second off the pace in seventh.

Mark Webber was back in eighth at the end of a low-key morning for Red Bull.

The session ran smoothly, with no red flag interruptions.

Morning times Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps  1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.875s 51
2. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m22.160s +0.285 43
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m22.188s +0.313 47
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.627s +0.752 29
5. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m22.675s +0.800 79
6. Jenson Button McLaren 1m22.840s +0.965 29
7. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m22.877s +1.002 39
8. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m23.024s +1.149 46
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m23.366s +1.491 66
10. Max Chilton Marussia 1m26.416s +4.541 33
11. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m27.344s +5.469 50

AUTOSPORT special testing coverage:

Gallery Testing blog Technical blog Live commentary Trackside analysis

shares
comments
Di Resta says he is not concerned about the identity of team-mate

Previous article

Di Resta says he is not concerned about the identity of team-mate

Next article

Barcelona F1 test: Alonso leads the way on day three

Barcelona F1 test: Alonso leads the way on day three
Load comments
The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push Plus

The new age of sponsorship facilitated by F1’s relevancy push

The age of the high-profile title sponsor is over, says JONATHAN NOBLE, but Formula 1’s commitment to technological innovation is attracting high-tech partners

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era Plus

How Britain’s lost Ferrari star epitomised a bygone F1 era

The 1956 Italian Grand Prix was over for Juan Manuel Fangio, along with his hopes of winning the world championship – until his Ferrari team-mate (and title rival) voluntarily surrendered his own car so Fangio could continue. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls Peter Collins, a remarkable sportsman

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2021
The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France Plus

The 'surprise' Mercedes time that puts F1's victory fight back on a knife-edge in France

Red Bull led the way after the first two practice sessions for the 2021 French Grand Prix, but only just ahead of Mercedes. There was all the usual practice skulduggery complicating the performance picture, but one aspect seen at the world champion squad gave it a ‘surprise’ lift, as it looks to leave its street-circuit struggles firmly in the past

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Plus

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

Formula 1
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Plus

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021 Plus

The figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again in F1 2021

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future Plus

Why Alfa's boss is ready for the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Autosport in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Plus

How Barnard’s revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbonfibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021