Valtteri Bottas may be the new guy at Mercedes by that didn't stop him from being the quickest on the second day of the final pre-season F1 test in Barcelona. Bottas’ best lap of 1:19.310 was also the the fastest of testing so far. That fast lap came in the morning session and was set on supersoft tires.
"It was another good half-day in the car for me." said Bottas "We managed to complete our programme as planned and I have to say that I felt much better in the car today with the changes we’ve made. We’re definitely making good progress as a team and I’m feeling more and more comfortable in the car every time I go out on track. We were focusing on shorter runs today. In the first part of the morning we did lots of aero tests to evaluate some upgrades and everything seems to be going in a positive direction. There’s still plenty of work to do so we need to maximise the next two days of testing. Fastest laps don’t matter in testing. What matters is where you are when you get to Melbourne. I’m just pleased we managed to complete the full program. I learned so much from today’s running. Now I’m just concentrating on tomorrow."
Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon took over the Mercedes driving duties and added another 79 laps to Mercedes’ total for the day as he claimed sixth place on the timesheet with a best time of 1:20.782s set on soft tires.
"It’s been a pretty good day, nice and smooth with no issues." said Hamilton "There is still a lot of work to be done but on the whole, it’s been another productive day for the team. F1 is always fun. The cars are always amazing. But this car… it’s faster and it’s more of a challenge to extract everything from it. I love that I get to do this. It was really great to see the fans with their banners in the grandstand this afternoon, so a big shout-out to everyone who came out to support us today."
After claiming the top time yesterday and posting a total of 168 laps, Williams’ Felipe Massa was second quickest on the day. Massa also set his best time in the morning and ended the day a tenth of a second behind Bottas, though Massa’s time was set on ultrasoft tires.
"It was a good morning." said Massa "We completed all of our programs and, like yesterday, I had a good feeling in the car. We’re happy with everything we tried in terms of set-up and trying different tires. I’ve had a very good day and a half, but hopefully this is just the beginning and we can finish testing well. I’m very happy with what I’ve seen and what I feel in the car. It’s still difficult to know where we are compared to the others, but the car is definitely looking positive."
Lance Stroll took over the Williams for the afternoon session and had a much smoother start to his second test after suffering through numerous incidents during the first week posting a total of 59 laps and setting the day’s fifth-fastest lap.
"I am quite happy with the afternoon and pleased with the morning watching Felipe do some solid running." said Stoll "I think it was a good day. As a team we got a lot of laps in, so we have a lot of positives to take out of today. I am not really focussed on laptimes, as it is testing and we are exploring a lot of different things on the car and trying to move forward. I am just happy with getting some good running in, trying some stuff on the car and moving in the right direction. That is what we are focusing on over these few days, and so far so good. We did some short runs, and tried some different compounds. I went to the softer compounds today. I tried the supersofts but still have the ultrasoft remaining that I haven’t tried. It was good to get a feel for them for the first time."
Kimi Räikkönen set a soft-tire best of 1:20.406 to hold third on the timesheet however, midway through the afternoon he spun out and hit the barriers at Turn 3. The resulting damage to the front and left side of his car was enough to cause Ferrari to halt running for the day.
Fourth place on the timesheet went to Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. After posting 34 laps in the morning the team called Verstappen back to the garage where he remained for almost three hours as an engine change was performed on his car.
When he did return to the fray Verstappen suffered another technical issue which left him stranded at the exit of Turn 12 in the last 20 minutes of the session. Despite his problems, Verstappen ended the day with the largest single lap total of any driver.
Seventh place went to Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg followed by Force India’s Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz. Haas’ Romain Grosjean completed the top 10, just over 2.5 seconds adrift of Bottas.
Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein was 11th today, with the German finishing four hundredths of a second ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso who inturn was followed by Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.
2017 Formula One Testing – Barcelona Test 2, Day Two
1 V. Bottas Mercedes 1:19.310
2 F. Massa Williams 1:19.420
3 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:20.406
4 M. Verstappen Red Bull 1:20.432
5 L. Stroll Williams 1:20.579
6 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.702
7 N. Hülkenberg Renault 1:21.213
8 S. Pérez Force India 1:21.297
9 C. Sainz Toro Rosso 1:21.872
10 R. Grosjean Haas 1:21.887
11 P. Wehrlein Sauber 1:23.000
12 F. Alonso McLaren 1:23.041
13 M. Ericsson Sauber 1:23.384
14 J. Palmer Renault 1:24.774
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