By Adam Tate, Managing Editor
Formula One’s second pre-season test ended the way the first test began; with Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari firmly atop the timesheets.
The German slapped a set of Pirelli’s super-softs in the morning session to post the fastest time of the pre-season with a strong 1:22.852 tour of Circuit de Catalunya. With Ferrari the quickest car on five of the eight days of testing, things near the sharp end of the field seem to have tightened between them, Mercedes and Williams.
Vettel also ran the halo device mock up that team mate Kimi Raikkonen ran yesterday. The device, which the FIA iterated is only a mock up has drawn mixed reactions from the drivers, but Vettel despite lamenting its aesthetics readily admitted its potential to save lives.
Behind Vettel, Carlos Sainz had another great day in the Toro Rosso with a strong run on the new ultra-soft compounds. He also kept up STR’s lap count, as he 133 tours on the day was only bested by Vettel.
Felipe Massa confirmed Williams strong pace with third on the timesheets at 1:23.644 on the super-softs.
Mercedes kept up their methodical approach to testing by splitting the day’s running between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, but lap times clearly weren’t the top of their agenda with Hamilton coming in fifth and Rosberg coming in last on the timesheets.
Jolyon Palmer had another rough day as his Renault suffered hydraulic issues. Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez also had trouble in the Haas Vf-16 as the car once again struggled with its brake by wire system.
All the team’s preparation now turn to Albert Park and the Australian Grand Prix, both the pressure and the countdown are on as Practice 1 begins in just two weeks.
|Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:23.134||133|
|Sergio Perez||Force India||1:23.721||60|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:24.427||123|