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
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:25.235||135|
|Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:25.300||166|
|Sergio Perez||Force India||1:25.593||128|
*Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1Team, ran only 1 lap and did not set a time