Bottas tops second day of T2 at Barcelona

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F1 Test, Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Testing continues today at Barcelona for the 6th day of testing, the second in the second and final week of testing before the teams head off to Australian. Just like on Tuesday, Mercedes and Williams were the eye-catches by completing lots of laps and topping the times.

Following up on a very busy and trouble-free day, Williams continued to be edging towards the fastest times, with Massa running on several different sets of tyres, eventually setting his personal best in 1m19.420s on the ultra soft tyres. The Brazilian may well have a great season ahead, despite having been on the verge of retirement at the end of last season. He did however briefly go off track during one of his runs, but managed to safely return after picking up some gravel.

Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes AMG F1 W08 was the only one to go faster, and also fastest overall. First on the super softs with which he edged Massa by 2 tenths, followed by a short run on ultra softs to go even faster, lapping the Spanish track in 1m19.310s

Raikkonen in the Ferrari had a less smooth morning. The team were first told by Pirelli that their brake ducts were scrubbing the tyres before Raikkonen was halted in the garage to complete a 'fluid systems check', something that kept him off the track for nearly 2 hours.

Generally speaking, the morning session was fairly productive for all teams, without on-track stoppages and no red flag interruptions. McLaren were yet again at the bottom of the rankings, both in terms of speed, as well as in mileage. Alonso ended up slowest, slightly slower than Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein, who however managed to do more than 50 laps.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1.Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:19.310-67
2.Felipe MassaWilliams1:19.420+0.11063
3.Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:20.406+1.09635
4.Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:20.432+1.12234
5.Nico HülkenbergRenault1:21.213+1.90358
6.Sergio PerezForce India1:21.297+1.98749
7.Carlos Sainz jrToro Rosso1:21.872+2.56242
8.Romain GrosjeanHaas F11:22.428+3.11851
9.Pascal WehrleinSauber1:23.000+3.69055
10.Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:23.041+3.73127
11.Jolyon PalmerRenaultno time-0
12.Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMGno time-0
13.Lance StrollWilliamsno time-0
14.Marcus EricssonSauberno time-0

The afternoon session got started slowly, and eventually ended up with a lot less mileage than on Tuesday.

It was once again Force India who brought out their car first whereas McLaren's Fernando Alonso was stuck in the pitlane for the longest time. Yet again, it proved to be a rather quiet day for McLaren, even though the team's principal, Eric Boullier said around noon that everything was going according to plan. Alonso ended the day with just 46 laps, the least of all drivers who were planned to run the entire day.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen saw his day ended with just 53 laps as well, crashing at Turn 3 around 4 o'clock. Almost at the end of the sweeping right hander, his Ferrari SF70H lost rear end grip, throwing the Finn into a spin, through the gravel and into the tyre wall. The impact wasn't all that severe, but enough to end running for the Scuderia.

On the positive end, Williams and Mercedes were again very busy, both splitting driving duties between their two drivers. Lance Stroll was given more track time and gradually improved to 5th in the standings. Surely a boost for the 18-year old after a troubled first week.

Lewis Hamilton completed 79 laps for Mercedes, making it 149 for Mercedes, who yet again became the mileage champions of the day.

Max Verstappen completed more than 100 laps to complete another productive day for Red Bull Racing. The optimism was however overshadowed by Verstappen coming to a halt 15 minutes from the end of the session, 2 laps short of a race distance completion. Earlier in the day, Red Bull's RB13 stopped with a similar Renault power unit, but Max Verstappen later commented that the French manufacturer were already working on solutions which should be ready in time for the Australian Grand Prix.

The session was subsequently extended by 5 minutes until Ericsson also came to a halt in the Sauber C36 which finally ended the day.

Testing resumes on Thursday for the penultimate day of pre-season testing.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1.Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:19.310-70
2.Felipe MassaWilliams1:19.420+0.11063
3.Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:20.406+1.09653
4.Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:20.432+1.122102
5.Lance StrollWilliams1:20.579+1.26959
6.Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:20.702+1.39279
7.Nico HülkenbergRenault1:21.213+1.90361
8.Sergio PerezForce India1:21.297+1.987100
9.Carlos Sainz jrToro Rosso1:21.872+2.56292
10.Romain GrosjeanHaas F11:21.887+2.57796
11.Pascal WehrleinSauber1:23.000+3.69059
12.Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:23.041+3.73146
13.Marcus EricssonSauber1:23.384+4.07447
14.Jolyon PalmerRenault1:24.774+5.46429