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F1 2016: Pre-season Test 1 Day 2 – Vettel Quickest Again

Sebastian Vettel Post race interview - 2015 F1 Malaysian GP

The second day of testing got underway with the circuit de Catalunya bathed in bright sunshine.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was the first driver on track and the first to set a flying lap as the second day of testing got underway.The majority of the first two hours of the morning were spent on gathering important data that the teams will carry through to the first few races of the 2016 season. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel emerged from the garage around mid-day to set the fastest lap of the morning – a 1:24:940.

By this stage Vettel was the only driver to break the 1:24 barrier. Soon after Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo dipped in the 1:24 to go second fastest overall. Fernando Alonso and Lotus’ Jolyon Palmer gave the yellow-walled soft tyre a trundle but did not set a representative time on the softer tyre. The first red flag of the session was brought out by Max Verstappen as his Toro Rosso grinded to a halt in the final sector of the circuit. As the Toro Rosso was recovered to the pits testing was underway again. Nico Rosberg immediately shot to the top of the timing sheets with a 1:24:867.

A switch onto the quicker, red-walled, supersoft tyre took Ricciardo quickest before the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel emerged to set a 1:23.658 on the same tyre. Just before the lunch break Daniel Ricciardo fitted the new-for-2016 ultra-soft tyre. He quickly took over at the top of the timing sheet only to be outdone by Vettel’s own run on the purple-walled tyres. The Ferrari driver set a time of 1:22.810.

haasThe session after lunch was interrupted by the stoppage of Jolyon Palmer’s Renault which had to be recovered to the pits on the back on a flatbed truck. Reports later surfaced that the Renault’s issue may have been turbo related. It brought an early end to Renault’s running with Palmer only able to complete 42 laps for the day.

By mid afternoon Nico Rosberg had again underlined the reliability of the new Mercedes by reaching the 100 lap mark without any issues. Most of the teams settled into longer stints in the afternoon. Williams driver Valtteri Bottas bucked the trend and opted to run a stint of laps on the orange-walled hard tyres. Similarly, Vettel opted instead for the ultrasoft tyres for run. The Ferrari driver completed only a handful of laps before the drop off in performance forced him back into the pits.

McLaren can breath a sign of relieve as Fernando Alonso racked 100 laps two hours before the of the day’s running. In stark contrast to McLaren’s fortunes twelve months ago both Alonso and Jenson Button have already reported a much more positive feeling with the 2016 car. Several other drivers including Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Marcus Ericsson, Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel all completed more than 100 laps. But it was Nico Rosberg and his Mercedes that set the most laps of the day with a mammoth 172 laps.

By the end of the day’s running Sebastian Vettel’s 1:22:810 remained quickest overall.

POS Driver Team/Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF16-H 1:22.810 126
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer RB12 1:23.525 +0.715 112
3 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes VJM09 1:23.650 +0.840 101
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid 1:24.867 +2.882 172
5 Marcus Ericcson Sauber-Ferrari C34 1:25.237 +2.427 108
6 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari VF-16 1:25.524 +2.714 79
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes FW38 1:25.648 +2.838 134
8 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Racing-Mercedes MRT05 1:25.925 +3.115 71
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda MP4-31 1:26.082 +3.272 119
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault R.S.16 1:26.189 +3.379 42
11 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR11 1:26.539 +3.729 121

About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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