By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Felipe Massa and Williams surprised the field by topping the time sheets for the opening day of the second pre-season test from Barcelona today. The Brazilian veteran clocked a solid 1:19.726 in his FW40 on the super soft tires and logged a massive 168 laps around Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Daniel Ricciardo got Red Bull close to Massa’s time with a 1:19.900, but had to run the ultra soft tires in order to do so. The Aussie ran 89 laps for a solid if most unspectacular day in the RB13.
Sebastian Vettel tied Massa for most laps on the day at 168 and nearly matched him and Ricciardo on time with the SF70H hitting an ominously impressive 1:19.906 on the softs!
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas took fourth and fifth for Mercedes after a conservative days running, but Bottas admitted track side that the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull is worrying. Hamilton went one step further and suggested that at this point Ferrari are the early favorites. Whether or not he believes that or just wanted to stoke the fires at Brackley remains to be seen.
McLaren had another miserable day as Honda had to yet again change the power unit in the MCL32. Stoffel Vandoorne got in 80 laps for the day, but Team Principal Eric Bouillier noted that the relationship with Honda is very strained at the moment.
Pascal Wehrlein, back from injury after his scary crash at the Race of Champions, made his 2017 debut for Sauber and ran 47 laps en route to the 11th best time of the day.