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The good in Barcelona

Reigning Formula One World champion Sebastian Vettel looks in terrific form ahead of his title defence.

Vettel has topped the timing charts on both day one and day two of testing in Barcelona.

The German beat his time on Friday by a second, setting a time of 1 minute 23.315 seconds, beating Jaime Alguersuari for Toro Rosso by 0.204 seconds.

Despite the positive lap times, Vettel was quick to cool suggestions that Red Bull were already the team to beat: 'It's winter testing, and everybody is trying to prepare. It's very hard to judge at this stage where you are, how quick the car is.” He told Autosport Magazine.

'You run through your programme. This year with the new tyres it is very hard to read the laptimes and performance of the other cars, so I think we have to remain cool and focus on ourselves.

Championship rival Fernando Alonso set what looked a competitive time just 0.663seconds back, but unfortunately for the Spaniard, while the pace was there the reliability was lacking for his Ferrari and he suffered two break downs with electrical and mechanical faults: 'Today is the first day we've had some mechanical issues, but it's not too worrying. We are putting a lot of mileage on the car. Everything is working well.”

Nick Heidfeld was within a second of both Vettel and Alonso in fifth for Renualt, but still believes there is more to get out of the car: 'You never have a car that you fully like and there are always things to improve. In Jerez, we were pretty close to a car that I like with only small things that I didn't like. Today, I was surprised it was so different, but the track and conditions are different.

Testing has also shown encouraging signs for Team Lotus, with Heikki Kovalainen’s performances hopefully showing that they have closed the gap a little to the more established teams. With a time of 1 minute 26.421, Heikki was just 3.106 seconds behind Vettel.








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 20 2011

Time: 8:07AM

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