Red Bull fastest at last F1 testing session

Mark Webber was fastest today as the last Formula One testing session before the start of the new season got under way.

The Red Bull driver set a best lap time of 1 minute, 21.487 seconds around the Circuit de Catalunya - nearly a second faster than Nico Hulkenberg of Williams.



Nico Rosberg of Mercedes GP, Sauber's Pedro De la Rosa and Jenson Button of McLaren were the only other drivers within two seconds of the Australian driver.



Tonio Liuzzi of Force India was sixth while Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was seventh as the Spaniard was hampered by a mechanical problem.



Webber also had a problem that required his car's removal from the track, with Red Bull mechanics cloaking the vehicle to protect it from prying eyes before it was returned to the garages.



Red Bull is among the leading teams expected to fight for the championship, a group which includes McLaren, Mercedes and current favorite — based on testing form — Ferrari.



But Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug said teams will have a better idea of who the front-runners will be by Sunday when testing wraps.



"It's just impossible to judge — it's guesswork," Haug said. "This time is not the benchmark. It's early days, and I would not say that any team has made any serious qualifying efforts so far."



The opening race of the season is the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 14.



Virgin Racing's problematic start continued as rookie driver Lucas di Grassi ran into the tire wall near the close of the morning session to end the team's running on Wednesday. The British team had to fly replacement parts in overnight to fix the damage to the rear of the car.



"Next time I will go even faster, always pushing more and more," Di Grassi wrote on his Twitter page.



Lotus continued its testing program, with Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy coming last among the 11 cars — more than six seconds off the pace set by Red Bull.



Fellow rookie teams Campos Meta and USF1 are not in Barcelona, with the latter reportedly on the verge of folding.



The American team is hoping to find sponsorship and funds as it lobbies governing body FIA to allow it to miss the first couple of races since it will not be ready in time.



Campos expects to be ready to race at Bahrain.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London