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Barcelona Wednesday: Hulkenberg leads at mid-day
As of 1 PM Wednesday in Barcelona, Nico Hulkenberg was fastest in the new Mercedes powered Force India car where F1 teams are gathered for a full week of testing.

Defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel said that his Red Bull team encountered difficulties in the form of faulty electrics at the opening pre-season test of 2012 in Jerez. Having begun the first Barcelona program on Tuesday, now continuing on Wednesday, the German is confident that the new RB8 is giving off positive signals.

“What we are doing right now is eliminating any teething problems and focusing on reliability,” Vettel explained to the official F1 website.

“If you ask me what teething problems, then I can tell you that at Jerez we had some electronic issues. We have identified that problem and now we are working to solve it.

“The words ‘problem’ and ‘issue’ sound so serious but what we are looking at has nothing to do with the weight of those words. The genuine feeling is good but you should never bank on feelings in F1! I guess I don’t have to say that we want to be faster than the rest.

“So let’s wait and see but, as the same design whizz who created the RB6 and RB7 also created the RB8 (Adrian Newey, Chief Technical Officer), we have the best possible pedigree.”

Mark Webber will step into the cockpit on Thursday, with Vettel returning next Saturday.

1. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 22.608s
2. Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 22.648s
3. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 22.891s
4. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 23.639s
5. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 23.640s
6. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 24.040s
7. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 24.555s
8. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 26.858s
9. Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 26.605s
10. Charles Pic France Marussia-Cosworth 1m 28.092s*

* 2011 car

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