Vettel sets pace in Barcelona

Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull

World Champion Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time during the first day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain prior to the 2011 Formula One World Championship.

Red Bull’s Vettel beat Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in to second place during the testing sessions in the twice former World Champions home country with a time of one minute 24.374 seconds.

Despite the 23 year old German spending the majority of the session in the garage as the circuit dried following a heavy downpour the night before, he was still able to clock the fastest time during the few laps he completed, shunting Alonso into second, 1.111 seconds behind.

Former World Champions Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher were down in fifth and eighth with times of one minute 26.365 seconds and one minute 27.512 seconds respectively.

Alonso’s fellow Spaniard, Toro-Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari finished in third, with a best time of one minute 25.638 seconds despite jostling with Button for the fastest times early on in the session.

The results from day one of testing will sit well with Red Bull and Vettel as the Austrian team attempt to defend their Constructors title that they won last year, along with Vettel’s own personal title. The team managed to complete only 37 laps during the day, all of which came in the afternoon and early evening, while Alonso and Ferrari completed 100 in comparison as they look to win the Constructors’ Championship for the first time since 2008.

Elsewhere Nick Heidfeld, in for the injured Robert Kubica at Renault, managed a best time of one minute 44.324 seconds while teammate Vitaly Petrov finished with a time of one minute 35.174 seconds.

The first race of the season, Bahrain Grand Prix, is set to take place on 13th March at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.

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