Vettel on top in rainy Jerez

Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets in a wet opening day to the third pre-season test, in Jerez.

Conditions were poor throughout the day and played havok with the drivers, with two red flags in the first hour alone. However, Vettel managed to overcome the challenging conditions to set a time of 1m22.593s in the early afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton finished the day just 0.424 seconds behind after a late charge. The Englishman’s day did not go entirely to plan, however, with Hamilton stopping out on track with a problem.

Felipe Massa, who finished the day in third, was also was left stranded at the side of the track during the middle of the session.

“Another usual problem for Felipe, who stopped in the track,” Ferrari reported.

Force India also welcomed its new reserve driver, Paul di Resta, to its team, after allowing the Scot to run in the morning. Although di Resta fell foul to the damp conditions, after spinning out on track, he was as impressive ever – finishing just behind his team-mate, Adrian Sutil, in eighth.

Today’s session also saw the debut of the new Lotus T127, with test driver Fauriz Fauzy completing 76 laps, despite having no power steering.

“Without power steering Fauzy has done an awesome job,” said team owner Tony Fernandes

“Great day well done Fairuz. Great day for Lotus. Great day to see a British brand back in action. Great day for Malaysia.”

No  Driver         Team/Car            Time            Laps

1.  S. Vettel      Red Bull Racing RB6 1:22.593        99 laps
2.  L. Hamilton    McLaren MP4-25      1:23.017 +0.424 72 laps
3.  F. Massa       Ferrari F10         1:23.204 +0.611 72 laps
4.  S. Buemi       Toro Rosso STR5     1:23.322 +0.729 79 laps
5.  P. de la Rosa  Sauber C29          1:23.367 +0.774 76 laps
6.  M. Schumacher  Mercedes GP W01     1:23.803 +1.210 111 laps
7.  A. Sutil       Force India VJM-03  1:24.272 +1.679 28 laps
8.  P. di Resta    Force India VJM-03  1:25.088 +2.495 74 laps
9.  V. Petrov      Renault R30         1:26.237 +3.644 55 laps
10. R. Barrichello Williams FW32       1:27.320 +4.727 109 laps
11. F. Fauzy       Lotus F1 T127       1:31.848 +9.255 76 laps
12. T. Glock       Virgin Racing VR-01 1:32.417 +9.824 10 laps