Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fastest on the second day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The Finn was .02 of a second faster than the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third.
The Finn set his fastest time on the supersoft tyre, continuing the good work started by his team-mate Sebastian Vettel yesterday. But, despite only driving the morning session no one was able to match Hamilton’s best time on the same compound.
But Mercedes are happy with their day’s work, as between the two drivers they completed over two race distances. With Valtteri Bottas completing a full race simulation during the afternoon, off sixty-six laps, that was despite a high-speed brush with the barriers, like Hamilton.
The Finn finished the afternoon seventh fastest; despite the brush will the wall which took some of the paint off his tyres. As for Ferrari’s flying Finn, he had a moment at turn three when he spun after losing his rear grazing the wall.
After a difficult day on Monday for Daniel Ricciardo, Verstappen had a much smoother day. The Dutchman doing eighty-nine laps in the Renault-powered Red Bull, but was over a second behind the two former world champions.
Red Bull aren’t planning to show the teams full potential at next week’s test when the RB13 will be beefed-up with a suite of aerodynamic improvements. With chief designer Adrian Newey telling Sky Sports “We’ve tried not to put too many appendages onto the car in the early stages so we understand the flow structures properly and develop the car from there.”
Haas Kevin Magnussen was the most productive of all the drivers, completing
It was another tough day for McLaren as an engine change restricted Stoffel Vandoorne to just 40 laps and the penultimate place in the timesheets. Also having problems was Esteban Ocon during the morning, however, the Frenchman was much more productive in the afternoon.
Ocon day was delayed after a stoppage at Turn 10 following a puff of smoke from the rear of the car. After only completing a single lap in the morning, Renaults Jolyon Palmer recovered fifty-three laps, by the end of the day. The team said it was because of “overnight changes.”
Things weren’t going better at Williams, Lance Stroll spun after jus twelve laps damaging his front wing. Meaning the team needing to send it to their base in Oxfordshire for replacements, which will not arrive in Spain until Wednesday morning.
He told BBC News “It is unfortunate. One front wing, a spin, a little winglet [damaged], but that is Formula 1. The car is very complex. There is not a lot of room for error.”
“I’m just getting to grips with the car. A little spin. I drove back to the paddock. Sometimes these things happen, but no, not a dent in the confidence.”
Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi also had a slow start to his first day. The Italian finished the morning with just a handful of laps due to a power unit change. However, the Ferrari reserve driver had a much more luck in the afternoon doing 66 laps.