First day at Barcelona: Webber scorches rivals

Mark Webber upset the perceived form book today at the Circuit de Catalunya with a series of extremely quick laps that put his closest rivals more than a second behind him.

The Australian pushed his new Red Bull RB6 to new heights over a series of qualifying simulations, the evaluation of which will hopefully give some indication of the teams’ relative pace in the coming days.

Webber posted a best lap 1.027 seconds quicker than Mercedes GP man Nico Rosberg, who in turn was two seconds quicker than fifth and sixth best times Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Nico Hulkenberg was third quickest in his Williams, with Pedro de la Rosa looking to confirm the speed of his Sauber in fourth.

It was another nightmare run for the Virgin team as Lucas di Grassi put his VR-01 into the wall at Turn 9, repairs of which will cost the team valuable time. Meanwhile, Lotus failed to improve the speed of their machine, with Fairuz Fauzy only managing a best time nearly three seconds off that of di Grassi.

Times as of 4pm GMT were as follows:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m21.487s 57
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.514s + 1.027s 58
3. Nico Hulkenberg Williams 1m22.684s + 1.197s 59
4. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber 1m23.321s + 1.834s 53
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.580s + 3.093s 22
6. Jenson Button McLaren 1m24.582s + 3.095s 44
7. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m24.86s + 3.382s 72
8. Tonio Liuzzi Force India 1m25.303s + 3.816s 33
9. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m26.208s + 4.721s 54
10. Lucas di Grassi Virgin 1m27.057s + 5.570s 31
11. Fairuz Fauzy Lotus 1m29.795s + 8.308s 37