Perez on top in free practice Sergio Perez has set the running in this morning's free practice at his Addax team's home circuit in Valencia, claiming the best time in the session ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Davide Valsecchi. The top three swapped fastest laps throughout until the Mexican made the top position his own with a best lap of 1:46.670 just minutes before the checkered flag, putting himself two tenths ahead of his Venezuelan rival.
All of the drivers were straight out on track when the green light came on, although Dani Clos didn't make it to the first turn as he ground to a halt and waited for the marshals to push him back to the pits. Maldonado and Valsecchi were immediately swapping fastest laps until Sam Bird went into turn 13 too hot and lost his rear wing against the barriers, prompting red flags to clean up the debris.
When the green light was lit once again the pair were immediately back on the pace, joined this time by Perez who struggled a little with traffic before finally finding some space and immediately setting the pace, running fastest lap after fastest lap, with his rivals seemingly unable to respond.
Until, that is, Valsecchi came in with 3 minutes remaining for an aero tweak and a last lap dash: the Italian set the fastest first sector but yellow flags further around the track meant he had to make do with P3 in the session, ahead of Christian Vietoris, Jules Bianchi, Charles Pic, Jerome d'Ambrosio and Luiz Razia. But with the promise of more pace to come, traffic notwithstanding, this afternoon's qualifying session is set to provide entertainment on track as scorching as the weather above it.
Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax Team 1:46.670 12 2. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 1:46.915 12 3. Davide Valsecchi iSport International 1:47.219 11 4. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:47.319 12 5. Jules Bianchi ART Grand Prix 1:47.447 12 6. Charles Pic Arden International 1:47.524 12 7. Jerome d’Ambrosio Dams 1:47.542 12 8. Luiz Razia Rapax 1:47.649 13 9. Giacomo Ricci DPR 1:47.664 13 10. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:47.677 11 11. Alberto Valerio Scuderia Coloni 1:47.771 12 12. Oliver Turvey iSport International 1:47.833 13 13. Ho-Pin Tung Dams 1:47.834 11 14. Adrian Zaugg Trident Racing 1:47.859 13 15. Michael Herck DPR 1:48.230 12 16. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova Racing 1:48.463 11 17. Johnny Cecotto Trident Racing 1:48.607 13 18. Josef Kral Super Nova Racing 1:48.677 11 19. Max Chilton Ocean Racing Technology 1:48.752 13 20 Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 1:48.805 13 21. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Scuderia Coloni 1:49.048 12 22. Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.073 13 23. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix 1:56.475 3 24. Dani Clos Racing Engineering -- 1
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