- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 21, 2012

BARCELONA, SPAIN (AP) - Michael Schumacher tried out his 2012 Mercedes for the first time Tuesday, setting the sixth fastest time in a Formula One testing session, well behind leader Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull.

Vettel, the two-time defending F1 champion, was quickest at the Catalunya Circuit with a lap of 1 minute, 23.265 seconds to finish nearly nine-tenths of a second ahead of his fellow German.

Niko Hulkenberg of Force India trailed Vettel by just under two-tenths, ahead of Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso edged Schumacher for fifth.

Lotus was forced to abandon the session because of a chassis problem, but expects to return to the track on Wednesday.

Mercedes had used its 2011 design at the first test session last week in Jerez, Spain.

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