Practice One - home advantage to Alonso 11 May 2012
Fernando Alonso set Spanish hearts racing here in Barcelona on Friday morning by taking his Ferrari to the fastest time in the first practice session, nearly fourth-tenths of a second clear of Sebastian Vettels Red Bull.
Alonso lapped in 1m 24.430s, Vettel in 1m 24.808s, but Kamui Kobayashi and Jenson Button were close, with 1m 24.912s and 1m 24.996s for Sauber and McLaren respectively. The latter spent a lot of time on track with both himself and team mate Hamilton trying the low and high noses for the MP4-27. Both drivers set their best times with the latter, Hamiltons 1m 25.252s leaving him eighth.
Between them, Valtteri Bottas continued his excellent Friday morning work and was comfortably the best of the four men who substituted for regular drivers. The Finn lapped Bruno Sennas Williams in 1m 25.120s for fifth, ahead of Michael Schumacher in the leading Mercedes on 1m 25.187s and Romain Grosjean in the leading Lotus on 1m 25.217s.
Behind Hamilton, the top 10 was completed by Lotuss Kimi Raikkonen with 1m 25.285s and Force Indias Nico Hulkenberg with 1m 25.339s. Then came Jean-Eric Vergne with 1m 25.367s for Toro Rosso, Felipe Massa on 1m 25.433s in the second Ferrari, Red Bulls Mark Webber on 1m 25.539s, Mercedes Nico Rosberg on 1m 25.607s and Saubers Sergio Perez on 1m 25.918s.
Toro Rossos Daniel Ricciardo headed the next group with 1m 26.226s, with Pastor Maldonado leading the chase for Williams with 1m 26.297s from Jules Bianchi who was the next best Friday rookie with 1m 26.630s for Force India.
Vitaly Petrov took his Caterham round in 1m 27.475s for 19th, pursued by Timo Glocks Marussia on 1m 28.267s, new team mate Alexander Rossi in the second Caterham, who took part in his first official practice session (in Heikki Kovalainens car) to lap in a best of 1m 28.448s, and Charles Pic in the other Marussia on 1m 28.633s.
At the back, Pedro de la Rosa posted 1m 29.107s in the lead HRT, with Dani Clos, the fourth rookie, taking part in his first Friday session in the Spanish team's second car. Clos posted 1m 31.618s before a mechanical problem saw him roll to a halt at the top of the pit lane 15 minutes before the end.
For tickets and travel to 2012 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.