Photo: Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Bottas Quickest on Day Two

By Adam Tate, Associate Editor

Just as many began to doubt Mercedes’ pace, the silver arrows struck back with Valtteri Bottas who set a scorching 1:19.310 lap of Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The new Mercedes man only used the super soft tires to set the best time of 2017 thus far, and looked very comfortable behind the wheel of the W08 where he stayed for 70 laps today.

Williams man and yesterday’s pace setter Felipe Massa kept him honest with a strong 1:19.420 for the ultra soft shod FW40.

Both of their times came in the morning session and no one in the afternoon came close to matching them. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was a second off the pace with a 1:20.406, but it was good enough for third on a day that most teams spent focused on long runs and tire evaluations. Raikkonen didn’t have an easy go of it however, he caused the first red flag of the day when he spun in Turn 3 and damaged the nose of his SF70H on the tire barrier. The damage ended the Finn’s day after 53 laps.

Red Bull also had a difficult day. Forced to change the power unit in Max Verstappen’s RB13 over lunch the team only got their young superstar back on track halfway through the afternoon session. It was enough time for Verstappen to complete a full race simulation, but he pulled to the side of the track at turn 12 with an issue shortly thereafter. It brought out the days’ second red flag and ended Red Bull’s run at a day high 102 laps.

Almost immediately after Verstappen was cleared, Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber lost power and stopped at the exit of turn 8 and brought out yet another red flag which all but ended the afternoon session.

McLaren-Honda had another underwhelming day with Fernando Alonso only able to complete 46 laps, but the team insisted this had been their plan and there were, for once, no faults with the car.

The lowest lap count of the day went to Jolyon Palmer in the Renault, who ran a very short program on the day and completed a scant 29 laps.

Pos Driver Team Times Laps Tires
1 Bottas Mercedes 1:19.310 70 SS
2 Massa Williams 1:19.420 63 US
3 Räikkönen Ferrari 1:20.406 53 S
4 Verstappen Red Bull 1:20.432 102 S
5 Stroll Williams 1:20.579 59 SS
6 Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.702 79 S
7 Hülkenberg Renault 1:21.213 61 SS
8 Pérez Force India 1:21.297 100 SS
9 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:21.872 92 S
10 Grosjean Haas 1:21.887 96 US
11 Wehrlein Sauber 1:23.000 60 S
12 Alonso McLaren 1:23.041 46 S
13 Ericsson Sauber 1:23.384 46 S
14 Palmer Renault 1:24.774 29 SS

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Associate Editor of Motorsports Tribune and jack of all trades, Adam is our resident Formula 1 expert. He has covered F1, IndyCar, WEC, IMSA, NASCAR, PWC and more. His work has been featured on multiple outlets including AutoWeek and A MT Co-founder, Adam has been with us since the beginning when he and Joey created Tribute Racing back in 2012. When not at the track or writing about cars, Adam can be found enjoying the Oregon back roads in his GTI.

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