The Red Bull driver was in great form at the Circuit de Catalunya and set his fastest time during an early qualifying style single lap run. Webber then spent the rest of his day running a programme of longer ten to fifteen stints. His lap time was faster than any set in the previous Barcelona test and will surely have sent an ominous warning to the other teams on the pitlane.
McLaren have had a fraught winter thus far but Jenson Button will have given the team a glimmer of hope with the second fastest time of the day. However it was not a trouble free day for the 2009 world champion. During a race simulation afternoon run Button had problems and needed to pit with over 50 laps remaining on his stint. Reliability has been the teams Achilles heel throughout the winter and even on their most promising day of testing so far mechanical woes reared its head for the team.
Sergio Perez had displaced Button as the second fastest runner but the Mexican cut the final chicane on his lap and it was therefore deleted. Even without that lap the Sauber rookie was a hugely impressive fourth fastest, just behind Vitaly Petrov.
Renault were not the only team to have two drivers running today. Force India also split time between Paul di Resta and Nico Hülkenberg and Lotus gave GP2 racers Davide Valsecchi and Luiz Razia time in their new car.
Jerome D’Ambrosio completed 57 laps but the Belgian was considerably off the pace with the team working on assessing their new car rather than out and out performance.
Williams, Ferrari, Mercedes and HRT did not take to the track today but the quartet will test tomorrow.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m22.544s 97
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.910s + 0.366 74
3. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m22.937s + 0.393 27
4. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.117s + 1.573 90
5. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m24.735s + 2.191 20
6. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m25.039s + 2.495 38
7. Davide Valsecchi Lotus-Renault 1m25.406s + 2.862 50
8. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.004s + 3.460 48
9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.030s + 3.486 31
10. Luiz Razia Lotus-Renault 1m26.723s + 4.179 29
11. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m32.060s + 9.516 57