Sebastian Vettel has kept the Scuderia Ferrari on top of the time sheets in the second day of the first Barcelona pre-season test. Vettel completed 126 laps of the circuit, equal to 586km with a fastest time of 1:22.810 set on Pirelli’s new ultra-soft tires.
The test again took place from 9am till 6pm with a 1 hour break for lunch. The conditions were ideal with temperatures hitting 20°C.
Today’s session saw three stoppages with Max Verstappen having the first in his Toro Rosso after electrical problems early in the session. Later on Jolyon Palmer brought out the red flag when he stopped on track between Turns two and three with a smoking engine. The problem was later revealed to be a problem with the turbo. The last stoppage came just five minutes from the chequered flag when Sebastian Vettel pulled up in his Ferrari.
Red Bull Racing had another productive day testing as Daniel Ricciardo drove his car to second place behind Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull performed well all day and didn’t hit any reliability problems, clocking up 112 laps with a fastest time of 1:23.425, just seven tenths off Vettel’s fastest. Ricciardo commented saying: “So, for me, a positive two days; you can’t ask for too much more. I’m looking forward to next week’s test now – I’ll have just two more days and then it’s Melbourne. I’m just excited to roll it over now and to get to Australia”.
It was also a positive day for McLaren-Honda, as they also managed a mighty session with 119 laps under their belt with Fernando Alonso in the car. He managed a best time of 1:26.082 which was good enough for ninth place. Although this isn’t high for McLaren, the positive is that they aren’t suffering any reliability problems, something that was considered their biggest demon in 2015. Alonso commented on the session saying: “After a long break, it’s good to be back, and to complete a good number of laps – something I missed this time last year”.
The teams will be back tomorrow for the third of four days. Barcelona is expected to get to a high of 17°C with no chance of rain.