Two days into winter testing and we have already had two days of Ferrari leading the leaderboard, just as we did in 2015 on what has been an ultra-productive day for many of the teams up and down the pitlane.
Using the ultra soft tyre just before lunch, and being spurred on by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel went on to set the fastest time of the test so far, and a long way clear of the pole position lap in 2015. The Ferrari won the argument, and by a handsome seven tenths of a second from the Red Bull.
Later on in the afternoon, the Ferrari caused the premature end to the session, stopping on the circuit at turn three after concentrating on long runs.
Slightly further behind in third, Sergio Perez driving the new Force India for the first time was only just a tenth slower than the Red Bull, despite being on slower tyres.
Mercedes looked quite imperious again, setting the most number of laps at 172 and not doing any running on the softer compounds as it rivals had. It has been reported that Mercedes don’t plan to do any fast runs this week. Rosberg headed a group of drivers who were two seconds off the pace, having also not used the faster rubber. They also debuted some interesting serrated barge boards and floor, updated from yesterday.
Marcus Ericsson driving the year old Sauber was fifth, followed by Esteban Gutierrez in the very impressive Haas. On only the second day of testing, it was competitive against other customer cars including Williams and Sauber. The problems of yesterday, which caused the front wing to fail have been found and are being resolved, but so far there have been impressively few problems for them.
He was just ahead of Felipe Massa driving the Williams in seventh, and Pascal Wehrlein in eighth. Manor had planned to run Rio Haryanto in the afternoon session, but later reverted back to the German. Once again, the new car looking good on its first run.
With rumours surrounding his future, Fernando Alonso was once again behind the wheel of the McLaren and while not outstandingly fast did have reliability on his side completing over 100 laps, a huge distance compared to what they were doing last season.
Jolyon Palmer only did 42 laps in the Renault and stopped on the circuit, they were suffering with software problems yesterday, and Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso finshed at the bottom of the order.
Only three of the teams didn’t run over 100 laps – Haas, Renault and Manor.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m23.525s||0.715s||112|
|3||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.650s||0.840s||101|
|11||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m26.539s||3.729s||121|