Barcelona I, day 2: Vettel quickest again despite late stoppage
Nico Rosberg put even more miles on the new Mercedes W07
Sebastian Vettel went quickest for the second day in succession at the opening pre-season Formula One test, despite a late on-track stoppage minutes before the chequered flag came out in Barcelona.
The Ferrari driver’s timesheet-topping lap came shortly before the lunch break when the German bolted on a set of Pirelli’s new ultra-soft tyres. Vettel’s time of 1:22.810 was seven tenths of a second clear of second-placed Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing. The Australian also used the purple-banded ultra-soft compound to set his best time. Sergio Pérez was third quickest with a lap of 1:23.650, with the Mexican’s time coming on the supersoft Pirelli tyre.
On a busy day the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Vettel managed 126 laps in total, though his day was cut short by a stoppage at Turn 3 just a few minutes before the end of the session.
Vettel was just one of eight drivers to smash through a century of laps on day two. After Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton had posted the largest day one total of 156 laps, Nico Rosberg put even more miles on the new Mercedes W07, posting a staggering 172 laps for a best time of 1:24.867. That handed him fourth spot on the timesheet. Rosberg’s total was followed by Valtteri Bottas’ 134 laps for Williams, while Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen recorded 121 laps for Toro Rosso, though the young Dutchman ended the day at the foot of the standings, with a time of 1:26.539, almost four seconds off Vettel’s pace. Verstappen also suffered a brief stoppage in the morning session, though he was quickly back on track once his car had been recovered.
Fernando Alonso logged 119 laps for McLaren, leading to the statistic of the team completing 203 laps across the opening two days of testing, the same amount the team managed across its first two 2015 pre-season tests.
Ricciardo, meanwhile, put in 112 laps before Red Bull Racing ended their day early with a precautionary halt caused by what the team referred to as a “minor technical concern”. Marcus Ericsson posted 106 laps in the 2015 Sauber, while Pérez managed 101 laps in Force India’s 2016 VJM09 car.
Elsewhere, the Haas team bounced back from the drama of day one’s front wing failure for Romain Grosjean by bringing a strengthened wing to day two’s running and posting a solid 79 laps with Esteban Gutierrez at the wheel. The Mexican also landed the sixth quickest time of the day, behind Rosberg and Ericsson, with a lap of 1:25.524 set on soft tyres.
With Bottas seventh, eighth place on the timesheet went to Manor rookie Pascal Wehrlein. His best time of 1:25.925 put him marginally ahead of Alonso and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.
After a troubled first day, the French squad had another difficult outing. After a smooth morning, the Briton ran into problems as soon as the afternoon session got underway and he immediately stopped at Turn 2 with smoke pouring from the rear. He did not rejoin and completed just 42 laps across the day.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari SF16-H||1:22.810||126|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull RB12||1:23.525||112|
|3||Sergio Perez||Force India VJM09||1:23.650||101|
|4||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes W07||1:24.867||172|
|5||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber C34||1:25.237||108|
|6||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas VF-16||1:25.524||79|
|7||Valtteri Bottas||Williams FW38||1:25.648||134|
|8||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor MRT05||1:25.925||71|
|9||Fernando Alonso||McLaren MP4-31||1:26.082||119|
|10||Jolyon Palmer||Renault RS16||1:26.189||42|
|11||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso STR11||1:26.539||121|