World champion Fernando Alonso on Tuesday had his first noteworthy on-track incident of the year.
As the first major group test of 2007 got going at Valencia, the Spaniard reportedly punted Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer from behind and into the gravel.
His new McLaren later stopped with an oil leak, but it had already clocked a best time nearly a full second clear of Kimi Raikkonen’s F2007 Ferrari.
Badoer, meanwhile, struck mechanical trouble in the older ‘248’.
It was wet and cold in the east of Spain, with many of the fourteen runners not lapping seriously until the track dried late in the day.
Bridgestone’s new wet weather tyre, however, saw its first action, but no fewer than ten red flags slowed the progress, moving Renault to announce the extension of the test to also include Friday.
James Rossiter flicked up gravel in one off-track moment, but Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima was a serial offender, with three spins.
Mark Webber also went off track in the new Red Bull, as did Franck Montagny, whose ‘TF107’ Toyota stopped with a mechanical issue in front of more than 5000 spectators and 100 media.
Jarno Trulli also had his first run in the new red and white car and observed: “It is still too early to judge but my first impressions were positive.”
McLaren ran with just one MP4-22 because the second is still being repaired back at Woking following Lewis Hamilton’s huge shunt at the circuit last week.
BMW struck trouble with the F1.07 — Sebastian Vettel was observed with an apparent engine failure, and Nick Heidfeld also spent time in the garage for repairs.
Better weather is forecast for Wednesday.
“We basically lost a day’s work but that can happen at this time of the year,” said Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella.