Vettel Sets Fastest Time as Second Test at Barcelona Begins


Sebastian Vettel set the quickest time of the opening day of the second and final pre-season test ahead of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 season, edging Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas by just two hundredths of a second.

Bottas made the early running on a busy morning for 2018’s expected front runners, putting in 86 laps on his way to a best time of 1:20.596, set on soft compound Pirelli tyres. However, he was deposed from top spot shortly before lunchtime when Vettel logged a lap of 1:20.396 using medium compound tyres.

Vettel also put in the day’s largest lap count for a single driver, working through 171 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Third place in the session went to Red Bull Racing’s Max Versatappen. The Dutchman also used medium tyres in the morning to finish five hundredths of a second behind Bottas.

However, while Verstappen’s morning was fruitful, with the Red Bull man putting 85 laps on the RB14, his afternoon outing was interrupted by a Turn 1 stoppage that resulted in an hour lost as his team changed the battery of his car. He returned to the action 15 minutes before the flag to end the day with 130 laps to his name.

While Vettel achieved the most laps for as single driver, Mercedes topped the team lap count with Bottas’ 86 laps being supplemented by Lewis Hamilton’s 91 in the afternoon. The world champion’s work left him in fourth spot on the timesheet, 0.159s behind Verstappen.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly finished as best of the rest in fifth place with a best time of 1:20.973 that left him just +0.577 behind Vettel on the same tyre compound used by the Ferrari driver. It was a mixed day for Toro Rosso, as despite the solid times set by Gasley a brake problem in the afternoon restricted the Frenchman to just 54 laps.

Sxith place in the session went to Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, while Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Renault. The German’s team-mate Carlos Sainz was eighth after taking over driving duties in the afternoon.

It was a tough day for McLaren, however, with the team suffering a range of issues during the day that mean Stoffel Vandoorne was only able to post a total of 38 laps all day.

Formula 2 Pre-Season Test 2, Barcelona – Day 1

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.396 171
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.596 +0.200 86
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:20.649 +0.253 130
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.808 +0.412 91
5 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:20.973 +0.577 54
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:21.298 +0.902 96
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:21.432 +1.036 48
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:21.455 +1.059 93
9 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:21.588 +1.192 42
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:21.643 +1.247 93
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:21.706 +1.310 120
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:21.946 +1.550 38
13 Lance Stroll Williams 1:22.937 +2.541 86

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