F1: Final Barcelona Test Day 2

By Steve Aibel, Senior F1 Writer

With 75% of pre-season testing complete, the paddock is voraciously checking items from their preparation lists to insure they are ready for the 2016 opener which is just over two weeks away in Australia.

On Day 2 of testing, Valtteri Bottas led the time charts remarking that he is “feeling prepared and good in the car.” Bottas will hand over pilot duties over to Felipe Massa for the final two days of testing. Williams put the Fw-38 atop the leader board while in qualifying trim using the Pirelli super soft compound.

With systems checks essentially complete for most of the teams, work has shifted to race weekend prep including pitstops, set ups, race simulations, and full fuel runs.

Mercedes, again, split driving duties between their two drivers with Lewis Hamilton handling the morning and turning the duties over to Rosberg in the afternoon. Although Mercedes have been the class of the field through the testing period, they are still not “in the ballpark” on the new softer Pirelli compound with Hamilton criticizing the tires compared to those supplied last year.

Ferrari, McLaren and Renault had productive days, each team logging over 120 laps. McLaren had a small suspension issue in the morning session but was still able to log enough laps to have a productive day. Eric Boullier has suggested multiple times throughout the testing sessions that McLaren have solved their ERS problems from last year. Given an improvement in reliability and general pace, McLaren will now focus their attention on set up and pace in the final two days of the test. Expect to see improvement coming quickly for McLaren.

After a strong showing last week, Haas F1 Team have had a disastrous second week. After suffering a fuel system issue on Day 1, the team experienced an issue with the replacement turbocharger on Day 2.  After is was discovered on the morning installation lap, the entire day was a wash for Haas and Esteban Gutierrez, leaving the rookie outfit only two days to work through their testing program. Gunther Steiner was quoted as saying, “these cars are very complex. We’ll keep working hard and then we’ll have success.”

Day 2 Test Times

Driver Team Time Laps
Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:23.261 108
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.622 73
Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:23.933 126
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:24.611 151
Jenson Button McLaren 1:25.183 121
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.235 135
Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:25.300 166
Sergio Perez Force India 1:25.593 128
Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.298 91
Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:27.064 79
Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:27.487 55

*Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1Team, ran only 1 lap and did not set a time

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Growing up in a racing family, Steve Aibel was surrounded by Allards, Crosleys and Corvettes! A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Steve was drawn to the automobile magazines strewn throughout the house and Formula 1 in particular. With go karts, motorcycles and vintage race cars in the garage, it was inevitable that the torch would be carried by Steve. Lime Rock Park was his own personal playground while still keeping an eye on the pinnacle of motorsports overseas called Formula 1. Now, in the shadows of Circuit of the Americas, Steve is able to not only follow F1, he makes it the object of this racing stories. This passion for Formula 1 is shared weekly writing original articles for both Tribute Racing and Drafting the Circuits. He also participates in two weekly radio shows. Drafting The Circuits, (http://whoobazoo.com/draftingthecircuits), which airs Tuesday evening at 7 pm CST and Formula 1 Racing Plus (https://www.facebook.com/Formula1RacingPLUS), which broadcasts throughout the week on Performance Motorsports Network. Steve's motorsports photography can be found at www.littleorcasports.com

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