Kimi Räikkönen topped the times on the second day of the first test at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The Finn put his Alfa Romeo fastest by two and a half tenths to push Sergio Perez off the top spot during the afternoon session.
Raikkonen’s fastest time came within the last hour of running on a productive day of running, he did a 17.0 on the soft tyres as he managed over two race distances. Perez was unable to respond, as Racing Point switched there focus in the afternoon to long runs.
There have been suggestions that the Racing Point has some resemblance to 2019’s Mercedes W10 in a number of areas, especially the front wing, nose, front suspension and side-pod leading edge.
Racing Point technical director Andrew Green said the car’s likeness to a Mercedes was a result of a change in design philosophy.
Daniel Ricciardo only drove the morning session managing forty one laps going third fastest. He was six tenths off the pace, but almost eight tenths faster than teammate Esteban Ocon who finished the day twelfth fastest. Red Bull’s Alex Albon was the last driver within a second going fourth fastest.
Following illness on Wednesday, Sebastian Vettel got his proper outing during the afternoon going sixth after seventy-three laps. He was two tenths faster than teammate Charles Leclerc, the two were split by Williams’s George Russell, who continued the team’s strong start to testing with 116 laps.
Mercedes day again focused on the mileage as between them Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas managed a hundred and eighty-three laps between them, five laps short of three race distances. Bottas finished the day thirteenth focusing on long runs, before sitting out the final hour with an electrical issue.
Between them Mercedes finished the day just 15 laps shy of the equivalent of completing the Spanish Grand Prix three times or 572.556 miles.
However, TV images from the Mercedes showed the car was clearly pulling the steering wheel towards him and pushing it back into its original position before the corners. Closer analysis of onboard footage showed the alignment of the front wheels — known as toe — changing with the movement of the wheel.
Lando Norris was tenth fastest going two hundredths quicker than the Haas of Romain Grosjean, with both drivers setting their fastest times on the C3 tyre. They also managed more than two race distances through Thursday’s running.
All the teams, expect Renault, managed over a hundred laps. With one more day until the weekend mileage remains the focus ahead of the real performance runs next week.