McLaren’s Carlos Sainz set the fastest lap of pre-season F1 testing so far on a day when Ferrari managed just one afternoon installation lap for Charles Leclerc following a morning crash involving Sebastian Vettel that sidelined the team for most of the day.
Sainz recorded the best time of day two of this final pre-season test midway through the morning session. The Spanish driver used the C4 compound Pirelli tyres to a lap of 1:17.144s. As many teams focused on longer runs in the afternoon the time comfortably stood as the benchmark until the chequered flag. Sainz also completed more laps than any other driver, with 130 to his name at the end of the day.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez did put in a performance run on C4 tyres in the final 20 minutes and while his time of 1:17.842 vaulted him to P2, he still trailed Sainz by 0.698s.
The Mexican’s lap moved him ahead of Sebastian Vettel who had held P2 thanks to his efforts prior to his morning crash. The four-time champion lost control in Turn 3 due to a mechanical problem with his SF90 and hit the barriers hard.
Repairs, as well as identification of the issue that caused the crash meant that Ferrari was unable to return to the action for almost the entirety of the afternoon session as it performed “thorough checks”. However, just before the end of running the team managed to get Charles Leclerc on track for a single installation lap.
Vettel’s former team-mate Kimi Räikkonen took fourth place for his new team Alfa Romeo, posting a best time of 1:18.209 in the final hour of the session. The Finn used the C4 compound for the best time of his 113 laps. Räikkönen also stopped on track at the end of the session. Haas’ Romain Grosjean took fifth place with a C5-compound lap set in the final 20 minutes of running.
Ferrari weren’t the only team to encounter mechanical woes on day two. Max Verstappen posted a solid total of 128 laps as he spent a busy morning working through shorter runs and set-up changes, but the lap count might have been much higher had he not been restricted to the garage for two hours in the afternoon.
The Dutch drivers was most of the way through a race simulation when he was forced back to the Red Bull garage by a gearbox issue Verstappen eventually got back on track in the final hour, but spent the remainder of the session on pit stop practice.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was seventh ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes pair once again worked through a significant combined lap count of 177 tours but once again the team appeared to struggle for outright pace on the C3 tyres used for much of its running.
Renault also split its running, with Nico Hulkenberg 10thahead of 12th-place team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who spent his morning on race simulations. Robert Kubica was 11thfor Williams ahead Leclerc who failed to set a time.
2019 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test 2, Day 1
1 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:17.144s 130
2 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:17.842s +0.698 88
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:18.195s +1.051 40
4 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:18.209s +1.065 113
5 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:18.330s +1.186 120
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:18.395s +1.251 128
7 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:18.682s +1.538 101
8 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:18.941s +1.797 74
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.943s +1.799 102
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:19.056s +1.912 58
11 Robert Kubica Williams 1:19.367s +2.223 130
12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:22.597s +5.453 72
13 Charles Leclerc Ferrari no time 1