Bulls are flying as Ferraris faulter
With the F1 drivers' title defense on his mind, Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel has flown from the starting blocks and set the standard in Valencia's opening Formula 1 test.
Appearing on track immediately after the unveiling of the new RB7, the reigning world champion showed consistency throughout the day and managed to put down the quickest flying lap with a time of 1:13 769.
Fellow German Nico Hulkenburg who joined Force India just days ago impressed his new bosses in last season's car, putting down the second quickest lap of the day only 0.169's behind the Red Bull.
Third quickest was McLaren, though they did not produce the 2011 ride, nor did they produce Lewis Hamilton or Jensen Button.
Test driver Gary Parfett put down the times as the team discovered the capabilities of this year's tyre provider, Pirelli.
Fourth quickest was Force India's newbie, coming out of Scotland, 24 year old Paul di Resti who had a cracking karting career alongside a young Lewis Hamilton, and famously beat Formula One's Sebastian Vettel to the Formula Three Euroseries titles. This youngster is one to watch.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso started the day at the top of the time sheets, but dropped to fifth by the close of play, 0.784s behind Vettel. The Scuderia man also encountered a minor issue with his new F150 in the morning session, while his day ended with him stopping out on track on the final corner of the first day's final lap.
Sixth place went to Kamui Kobayashi who made a solid start to Sauber's C30 preparations, followed by Virgin's latest signing Jerome D'Ambrosio driving a modified version of the VR01, last year's car.
Vitaly Petrov put down 28 laps in the new Renault R31 while Michael Schumacher enjoyed his first taste of the Mercedes GP W02 , completing 15 laps and a fastest lap of 1:16.450.
Schumacher had his session cut short after team-mate Nico Rosberg stopped out on track. This produced the day's, and year's first red flag!
It turns out that Rosberg had suffered a hydraulic problem and finished P13, 4.5s behind on Schumacher's fastest time.
Toro Rosso and Williams also debuted their 2011 cars with Jaime Alguersuari 10th quickest ahead of Rubens Barrichello, though Rubens was struggling with the KERS system.
How will day two pan out, let wait and see...
Day 1 - Unofficial Test Times
01. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:13.769 93 laps
02. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:13.938 + 0.169s 71 laps
03. Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1:14.292 + 0.523s 91 laps
04. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:14.461 + 0.692s 28 laps
05. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:14.553 + 0.784s 97 laps
06. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:15.621 + 1.852s 68 laps
07. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:16.003 + 2.234s 71 laps
08. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:16.351 + 2.582s 28 laps
09. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:16.450 + 2.681s 15 laps
10. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:17.214 + 3.445s 19 laps
11. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:17.335 + 3.566s 77 laps
12. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:18.020 + 4.251s 45 laps
13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:19.930 + 6.161s 9 laps
F1 2011 Drivers' Championship: Red Bull 6/4, Ferrari 5/2, McLaren 5/2, Mercedes GP 13/2, Renault 16/1, Williams 33/1, Force India 50/1, BMW Sauber 80/1, Team Lotus 100/1, Toro Rosso 150/1, HRT 500/1, Virgin 500/1.
F1 2011 Constructors' Championship: Sebastian Vettel 5/2, Fernando Alonso 3/1, Lewis Hamilton 7/2, Nico Rosberg 9/1, Michael Schumacher 10/1, Mark Webber 11/1, Jenson Button 12/1, Robert Kubica 20/1, Felipe Massa 20/1, Adrian Sutil 66/1, Nico Hulkenberg 100/1, Rubens Barrichello 100/1, Kamui Kobayashi 125/1, Vitaly Petrov 125/1, Jamie Alguersuari 150/1, Seb Buemi 150/1, Pastor Maldonado 200/1, Paul Di Resta 250/1, Sergio Perez 250/1, Nick Heidfeld 250/1, Bruno Senna 500/1, Timo Glock 500/1, Jarno Trulli 500/1, Timo Glock 500/1, Jarno Trulli 500/1, Heikki Kovalaonen 500/1, Jerome D'Ambrosio (1/5 Odds Place 123)
Jenson Button number of GP wins in 2011: 2+ 4/7 - None or One 5/4
Lewis Hamilton Number of GP wins in 2011: Three or less 8/11 | Four or more 1/1
Michael Schumacher to win at least one race in 2011: 6/4
Lewis Hamilton to have fastest lap, qualify fastest & win race at British GP: 8/1
Michael Schumacher to retire during the season: 6/1