Sebastian Vettel continued at the top of the times after another day in the car for Ferrari. Having gone fastest on the first day of pre-season testing with a 1:22.260, the four time world champion lowered the benchmark to 1:20.984. It will be his last day in the car at Jerez as team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will take over tomorrow.
While Ferrari went with continuity by having Vettel in the car for two days in a row, it was all change for five of the seven other teams in attendance. Felipe Nasr, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Jenson Button, and Daniil Kvyat got their first tastes of their respective cars while Pastor Maldonado got Lotus’ testing started after they were forced to miss the first day of running. Williams, like Ferrari, kept the same driver in the car with Valtteri Bottas once again running. After running a staggering 157 laps yesterday, Mercedes were once again quick to start notching up the mileage with Hamilton getting some early running under his belt. The reigning world champion’s day of eventually curtailed by a water leak but he still managed to complete more laps than anyone else.
On day one the McLaren MP4-30 suffered electronic problems which kept Fernando Alonso confined to the garage for most of the day. Button got out early for an installation lap but instantly returned to the garage, shutting off the power. He matched his team-mate in terms of laps completed after another issue meant the car spent a lot of time in the garage. Lotus, who were still receiving parts yesterday afternoon and failed to get any running, managed to get a car out on track about an hour and a half into the session. After getting a solid 41 laps completed Maldonado’s session was another driver who found his day coming to a premature end. It was a drivetrain issue ended the E23’s first day of running, also causing the first red flag of the day due to stopping out on track in sector three. Later in the day drivers got the opportunity to get some wet running under their belt as a rain shower arrived at the circuit. Pace setter Vettel along with Sauber’s Nasr, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Button all took to the track while it was wet.
It wasn’t the best start for Kvyat on his Red Bull Racing debut as he damaged the team’s only front wing and was forced to complete installation laps for most of the day without one. He ran wide on one of his earlier install laps which caused the damage. Red Bull will be forced to wait while parts are flown out to them from their base in Milton Keynes.
As was the case on day one, Vettel topped the (unofficial) times for Ferrari:
- Sebastian Vettel – 1:20.984 – 88 laps
- Felipe Nasr – 1:21.867 – 88 laps
- Valtteri Bottas – 1:22.319 – 61 laps
- Lewis Hamilton – 1:22.490 – 91 laps
- Max Verstappen – 1:24.167 – 73 laps
- Pastor Maldonado – 1:25.802 – 41 laps
- Jenson Button – 1:54.655 0 – 6 laps
- Daniil Kvyat – No Time Set – 18 laps
Despite topping the first two days of running with his new team, Vettel was keen to play down the significance of the times. “It’s too soon to give a verdict on the true level of this car, especially as we can’t make a good comparison with the other teams,” he explained. “However, I’d say we have a good basis to work from.”