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Barcelona F1 test: Hamilton fastest as rain hits the track

Lewis Hamilton topped the first morning session of the third pre-season Formula 1 test at Barcelona

In a session afflicted by several rain showers, drivers constantly switched between wet and intermediate rubber.

Mark Webber's Red Bull was the first to set a proper time, on wets, before people started to try Pirelli's inter tyre.

Jean-Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso and Felipe Massa then took it in turns to go quickest, with Vergne staying on top for some time with 1m42.155s, set on inters.

But, with the track at its best just after the halfway point in the session, Hamilton's Mercedes started a strong run of times on intermediates.

He set a string of 1m42s and recorded a best of 1m41.614s, which would remain the fastest of the session despite being around 20 seconds off a dry time.

Shortly after Hamilton's lap, Massa recorded 1m41.848s to end up second, ahead of Vergne.

Webber was often quickest when the rain was falling and ended the morning fourth fastest.

Two drivers were caught out by the tricky conditions and caused red flags. Romain Grosjean dropped his Lotus at Turn 12 before he had even completed a flying lap, while the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez went off at Turn 3 just before the end of the session.

The F1 rookie had nevertheless completed more laps than anyone else and ended up sixth, behind Paul di Resta's Force India, but ahead of Grosjean.

Morning times

Pos  Driver              Team            Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes        1m41.614s             43          
 2.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari         1m41.848s  + 0.234s   40          
 3.  Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso      1m42.155s  + 0.541s   38          
 4.  Mark Webber         Red Bull        1m43.649s  + 2.035s   44          
 5.  Paul di Resta       Force India     1m44.444s  + 2.830s   33          
 6.  Esteban Gutierrez   Sauber          1m45.020s  + 3.406s   47          
 7.  Romain Grosjean     Lotus           1m45.147s  + 3.533s   29          
 8.  Valtteri Bottas     Williams        1m45.457s  + 3.843s   44          
 9.  Charles Pic         Caterham        1m47.521s  + 5.907s   31          
10.  Sergio Perez        McLaren         1m48.562s  + 6.948s   23          
11.  Max Chilton         Marussia        1m50.253s  + 8.639s   34    

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