Alonso sets morning pace at Mugello
Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets on the first morning of testing at Mugello as 11 of the 12 teams got down to work at this week's three-day test.
The test is particularly crucial for Ferrari as the team looks to rectify it's early-season problems with a major upgrade at the Spanish Grand Prix later this month. After a damp start to the day, Alonso set a 1:22.444 before lunch and was 1.204 clear of his nearest competitor, Mark Webber. The Ferrari, which featured revised exhaust pipes, is set to undergo a series of changes during the lunch break as the team continues to assess new parts.
Jean-Eric Vergne was third fastest behind Webber's Red Bull, but caused the first red flag of the test when he ran wide at turn two within the first hour of testing. Another red flag came out when Alonso and Nico Rosberg stopped on the circuit simultaneously.
Jerome d'Ambrosio was fourth fastest as the ex-Virgin driver got his first taste of the Lotus E20. As the team's test driver he will get a full day at the wheel before handing the car over to race drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean for the remainder of the test.
Rosberg was fifth fastest in the Mercedes and, despite his earlier problem, completed the most laps of any driver with 49. Kamui Kobayashi was next up in the Sauber ahead of Oliver Turvey in the McLaren, who will hand the MP4-27 to fellow test driver Gary Paffett in the afternoon before returning for a full day in the cockpit on Thursday.
Force India test driver Jules Bianchi was seventh fastest as he returned to the wheel of the VJM05 for the first time since his Friday practice run in China. GP2 driver Rodolfo Gonzalez set the eighth fastest time in the Caterham ahead of Charles Pic's Marussia, but both were a long way off the pace of the frontrunners.
Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas rounded off the timesheets as Williams tested a revised exhaust layout.
Driver Car Time Laps
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari F2012 1:22.444 38
2. Mark Webber Red Bull RB8 1:23.648 24
3. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso STR7 1:23.891 32
4. Jerome d'Ambrosio Lotus E20 1:24.048 40
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes W03 1:24.100 49
6. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C31 1:24.736 43
7. Oliver Turvey McLaren MP4-27 1:25.303 30
8. Jules Bianchi Force India VJM05 1:25.475 18
9. Roldolfo Gonzalez Caterham CT01 1:27.197 33
10. Charles Pic Marussia MR01 1:27.359 45
11. Valtteri Bottas Williams FW34 1:29.179 23