Mercedes fastest on day two in Barcelona

Nico Rosberg has set the fastest time of Barcelona pre-season testing so far with a blistering 1:22.792 on soft tyres. It was eight tenths faster than Felipe Massa’s time from yesterday.

It was a more positive day of running for Mercedes who were forced to end their day at lunch-time yesterday due to an MGU-K problem. They spent their day completing aero analysis and set-up evaluation during which Rosberg completed over 100 laps. The German driver revealed after the day of running that he had struggled with handling and oversteer but the soft tyres had helped. It was also a solid day of running for yesterday’s fastest team Williams who completed 90 laps with Valtteri Bottas. They also completed some aero work before moving to some longer runs and grid simulation in the afternoon.

Sauber driver Felipe Nasr topped the times in the morning and moved onto race simulations in the afternoon. Sebastian Vettel returned to action for Ferrari and completed 143 laps, including a race simulation. Ferrari enjoyed better reliability than they have recently and also took the opportunity to complete a lot of set-up work.

In fifth place was McLaren’s Jenson Button on their most productive day of testing so far. They completed just over 100 laps before the car came to a stop on track in the afternoon. It was a new power unit for Button and, as was the case with most other teams, it was a mixture of long runs and aero and set-up work. The team completed less than 100 laps over four days in Jerez so it was certainly a much better day than they have been enjoying of late.

First Barcelona test pacesetters Lotus ended the day sixth fastest as Pastor Maldonado focused on long runs. He completed more than two race distances – like Vettel – and was assessing front suspension and aero assessments. Toro Rosso’s day may have stopped early due to an electrical problem but the team were pleased with the work they did achieve, including aero work. Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull had a number of aero rakes attached to the car in the morning. He caused a red flag due to him stopping on track. It was a precautionary stop to check a hydraulic system and he soon got running again.

Force India made the long awaited debut of their 2015 car with Nico Hulkenberg driving. Having run the 2014 car in Barcelona, and missing Jerez completely, the team have completed significantly less testing than everyone else. They completed a solid 77 laps on their first day of running, however, as they started to learn about the car.

Times from day two were as follows:

  1. Nico Rosberg – 1:22.792 – 106 laps
  2. Valtteri Bottas – 1:23.995 – 90 laps
  3. Felipe Nasr – 1:24.071 – 141 laps
  4. Sebastian Vettel – 1:25.339 – 143 laps
  5. Jenson Button – 1:25.590 – 101 laps
  6. Pastor Maldonado – 1:26.705 – 140 laps
  7. Max Verstappen – 1:26.766 – 139 laps
  8. Daniil Kvyat – 1:26.965 – 84 laps
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:28.412 – 77 laps

Testing continues tomorrow.

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