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Morning times from Jerez - Friday

NEWS STORY
08/02/2013

Sebastian Vettel heads the timesheets as the teams break for luck on the final day of the opening pre-season test at Jerez de la Frontera.

Normally, unlike Barcelona, there is no official break at Jerez, however problems with the track at Turn 9 mean the session has been red flagged while the situation is investigated.

A 'pothole' has developed at Turn 9 where the tarmac has been ripped up and as a result there are small stones on the track and on the kerb. Yesterday, Nico Rosberg is thought to have picked up a puncture after running over one of the stones but today the situation is even worse. Indeed, while the drivers take a break a number of team managers are inspecting the damaged track.

After much nodding of heads and some very thoughtful looks, a bag of quick-dry cement is provided and the hole is filled.

It's been a fairly eventful morning, what with Pedro de la Rosa's fire and Gutierrez 'parking' his car right in the middle of the exit to the chicane after a technical failure.

The Mexican, on only his second day as a fully fledged F1 driver, took the top spot from Vettel around an hour before the break, only to lose out to the German shortly after. However, the German was on the hard compound while the Sauber driver was on softs.

It's been an altogether better morning for Lewis Hamilton, the Englishman putting the misery of Wednesday's crash behind him as he settles into his new team.

Force India has Jules Bianchi on duty, the French youngster hoping to be confirmed as Paul di Resta's teammate in the coming week. While he has spent the morning on aero work it is understood he will switch to tyre evaluation this afternoon.

Luiz Razia is back in action for Marussia, the Brazilian, who has completed 32 laps, remains over 7s off Vettel's pace.

The Top Five - which also includes Raikkonen and Perez - is covered by just 0.379, and it is hoped, cement permitting, that we will see further improvements this afternoon. However, what is worth noting, and something picked up by Massa on the first day, is that the time posted by Button on Tuesday is 0.982s off the pace, albeit on the hard rubber. Raikkonen and Vergne posted their best times on the hard compound also.

Morning Times - All Times Unofficial

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