Gene on top at Barcelona

Spanish driver Marc Gene finished on top of the times on the first day of this week's testing at the Barcelona circuit, where 10 teams are expected to carry out their preparations for the start of the European season

Gene on top at Barcelona

Gene led a closely-matched field of cars, the Ferrari test driver finishing less than seven tenths of a second ahead of the sixth quickest man.

Although a very cold morning hindered the teams early on, the sun shone through and most squads enjoyed a productive day of work. The track, however, was very dirty following last weekend's round of the European truck racing championship.

Gene and teammate Luca Badoer carried out testing duties for Ferrari, both men working at the wheel of the 248 F1 car. Gene focused mainly on engine work while his Italian teammate concentrated on set-up.

The Ferrari drivers caused a red flag each when they went off the track.

Nico Rosberg was second quickest for his Williams team after a strong performance in the afternoon, when he focused on long runs at the wheel of the FW28. Rosberg's morning was not as smooth, however, and he was slowed by some exhaust problems.

The German worked alongside the team's test driver Narain Karthikeyan, fourth fastest today.

The Red Bull team had both their racing drivers in action, with Christian Klien finishing as fifth quickest after completing the least number of laps today. Klien had a troubled day, causing two red flags, the first one following an engine failure.

His teammate David Coulthard finished at the bottom of the times after spinning off when he was about to do a quick run late in the session. The Red Bull duo were split by Toro Rosso's Neel Jani, who enjoyed a productive day.

"We had no problems with our car and there were few interruptions for red flags, so we were able to run pretty much constantly throughout," said Toro Rosso's general manager Gianfranco Fantuzzi.

"Our programme focused on set-up work, evaluating different brake materials and assessing different aero downforce levels."

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team                      Time      Laps
 1.  Gene          Ferrari              (B)  1:16.122  100
 2.  Rosberg       Williams-Cosworth    (B)  1:16.313   96
 3.  Badoer        Ferrari              (B)  1:16.391   98
 4.  Karthikeyan   Williams-Cosworth    (B)  1:16.440   96
 5.  Klien         Red Bull-Ferrari     (M)  1:16.691   50
 6.  Jani          Toro Rosso-Cosworth  (M)  1:16.795   89
 7.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Ferrari     (M)  1:17.151   51

All Timing Unofficial
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