Felipe Massa stamped his authority on day 1 of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.
The Brazilian, who not more that three months ago was enjoying retirement from the sport, set the fastest time of the day of 1:19.726 on the red-marked super soft compound tyres. Massa also put in the highest number of laps together with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Both completed 168 laps on the day which is just a little over two race distances.
Vettel was 3rd fastest on the day behind Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. Ricciardo’s fastest time of 1:19.900 came courtesy of a set of ultra soft tyres which put him 0.174s off the pace of Massa’s fastest time.
But we all know that the times in testing don’t mean much.
The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished the day 4th and 5th fastest respectively. An issue with the floor on the W08 meant that Hamilton had limited running in the morning session. Bottas was able to get some decent running in the afternoon session and between the two totaled 135 laps of running.
Esteban Ocon clocked up 142 laps for Force India with a 6th fastest time while former Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg was 7th fastest for Renault in the RS17. Hulkenberg was able to complete 58 laps for the day.
Kevin Magnussen in the Haas was 8th fastest with a solid day of running for the Kanapolis based team. After a rocky first week in testing Daniil Kvyat got some solid running for Toro Rosso and completed 83 laps finishing 9th fastest.
It was once again another slow start for McLaren. Honda had to change the engine due to an electrical issue. Despite the delay, Stoffel Vandoorne was out about and clocked up 80 laps. The delay is a major cause for concern to McLaren where they’re suffering with reliability so early in the season. Team Principal Eric Boullier had rather strong opinions on McLaren’s predicament.
“The pressure is obviously huge,” said Boullier.
“We put the maximum pressure on all of our relationship with Honda, and the same for them. We can’t put a step wrong – we need to be able to deliver the best car as well, so this is both sides.”
“Obviously we would like more laps, but the correlation is good so we can take decisions. So not concerned yet. For the rest we need to make sure Honda investigate properly, address it properly – we have to rely on our partner.
“The one thing is we are running the same spec as last week so obviously that doesn’t mean there are any changes in this block or any modifications done.
“I think, the next spec will have addressed part of this problem, or most of this problem.”
Back from sitting out a back injury after his crash at the Race of Champions, Pascal Wehrlein got his first chance at the wheel of the Sauber on Monday. The German finished the session 11th fastest ahead of his team mate Marcus Ericsson. Together the Sauber pair put 100 laps on the board.
Renault were forced to change their power unit in the morning session which limited running for Jolyon Palmer who could only complete 15 laps on the day. The Briton finished 13th fastest.
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