European Grand Prix 2012: Pastor Maldonado sets early pace

Williams’ Pastor Maldonado sets the pace in the first practice session for Sunday's European Grand Prix in Valencia

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
pastor maldonado
William's Pastor Maldonado in action Photo: LAT Photographic, courtesy of Williams

pastor maldonado

Williams’ Pastor Maldonado topped the timesheets in first practice for Sunday’s European Grand Prix at the Valencia Street Circuit.

The Venezuelan, who won the Spanish Grand Prix earlier in the season, posted a time of 1m40.890s early on and it was not beaten in the remainder of the morning session.

Defending double world champion Sebastian Vettel, last year’s winner in Valencia, was 0.083 seconds behind Maldonando, with Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber just a hundredth of a second further back.

sebastian vettel

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, last year’s winner in Valencia, set the second-quickest time in first practice (Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull Racing)

McLaren’s Jenson Button looked to have put some of his recent troubles behind him by recording the fourth-quickest time ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, with Lewis Hamilton down in eighth place.

Force India’s Paul di Resta claimed an impressive sixth place ahead of Mercedes’s Michael Schumacher in seventh.

European Grand Prix 2012: First practice times

1 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m40.890s 22

2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.973s + 0.083 21

3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m40.984s + 0.094 19

4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.994s + 0.104 19

5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m41.065s + 0.175 26

6 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m41.105s + 0.215 15

7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m41.117s + 0.227 22

8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.158s + 0.268 18

9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.182s + 0.292 21

10 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m41.620s + 0.730 21

11 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m41.784s + 0.894 15

12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.838s + 0.948 19

13 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.861s + 0.971 16

14 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m42.109s + 1.219 20

15 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1m42.175s + 1.285 21

16 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m42.299s + 1.409 24

17 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m42.442s + 1.552 26

18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m42.758s + 1.868 26

19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m42.777s + 1.887 28

20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m43.209s + 2.319 19

21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m44.173s + 3.283 18

22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m44.996s + 4.106 15

23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m45.120s + 4.230 23

24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m45.338s + 4.448 7

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