Nico Rosberg was fastest for Mercedes on the first day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalyuna. The German was .2 of a second faster than the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso was a strong third for McLaren.
Rosberg set his fastest set his fastest time on the soft tyres and was two seconds faster than Hamilton was in the morning. In last week’s test the team prioritised reliability over outright pace. The team were more than half a second quicker than Ferrari who are expected to be there main challengers.
Rosberg told Sky Sports “it’s very close between Ferrari and us – and another team might be there as well.” However, there times are not that comparable as Hamilton focused more on the slower medium tyres.
Williams who appeared also last week to focus on reliability also put a good time in on the ultrasoft tyres. Williams who are powered by Mercedes showed strong running which could indicate the German car giant has increased the power and performance of the power unit.
McLaren form is unlikely to last once the season begins in Melbourne in just over a fortnights time. But it has been a much better pre-season testing for the team. There only issue was a telemetry issue which caused the car to stop before lunch.
Ferrari also ran into reliability issues after the car to become stuck in eighth gear and lose two hours on track. However, the Fin clocked the team’s best on the medium tyres which was half a second down on Rosberg’s time.
Haas were forced to abandon their running after just 23 laps with Esteban Gutierrez having a fuel system problem.
Force India and Toro Rosso had brilliant reliability with Max Verstappen completing the second most mileage for a team. Verstappen was seventh ahead of Nico Rosberg. They were both ahead of the Sauber of Felipe Nasr as the C35 made its track debut.
Test two day one times
1. Nico Rosberg 1:23.022 82 laps
2. Valtteri Bottas 1:23.229 123 laps
3. Fernando Alonso 1:24.735 93 laps
4. Kimi Raikkonen 1:24.836 72 laps
5. Daniil Kvyat 1:25.049 69 laps
6. Lewis Hamilton 1:25.051 89 laps
7. Max Verstappen 1:25.176 144 laps
8. Nico Hulkenberg 1:25.336 121 laps
9. Felipe Nasr 1:25.493 103 laps
10. Kevin Magnussen 1:25.760 119 laps
11. Esteban Gutierrez 1:26.661 23 laps
12. Rio Haryanto 1:27.625 45 laps