Sebastian Vettel has gone quickest again on the second day of the Barcelona test, with the German’s Red Bull team opting to drive some shorter runs for the first time, giving a good indication of the team’s low-fuel pace. Completing the top-three were Jaime Sebastian VettelAlguersuari and Fernando Alonso.

The defending World Champion opted to try a series of qualifying-style runs in the late morning, quickly putting him at the top of the timesheets. He then progressively improved his fastest lap with each run, peaking with a time of 1:23.315 that would remain unchallenged for the rest of the day.

All in all, the team could be pleased with their efforts – covering a total of 104 laps and plenty of practice pit stops – but their hopes of completing an actual race simulation went out the window, firstly caused by a red flag, and then by a technical issue that sidelined Vettel in the garage for some time.

Conditions were cloudier than on the first day of testing, but at least the test session remained completely dry, which also saw thousands of Spanish fans headed to the circuit so see their hero Alonso in action, quite possibly for the last time until May’s Spanish Grand Prix.

However, rumours are suggesting that Barcelona could stage a fourth and/or fifth pre-season test if either the final pre-season test or opening race at Bahrain is cancelled on safety grounds due to the current political protests in the Middle East.

On track, however, it was an effective 1-2 for the Red Bull stable, with Red Bull Racing’s sister outfit finishing second quickest at the hands of Jaime Alguersuari. The Spaniard lapped in the 1m24s-1m25s range early on before opting for a series of longer stints in the middle of the day. His fastest lap came late in the day when he switched back to shorter runs, with that fastest time being on the first lap of a three-lap stint.

  Jaime Alguersuari
Toro Rosso have shown decent pace in pre-season testing to-date, particularly their consistency over long runs. Could they pose a surprise in 2011?

Alonso finished up third-quickest, although he was troubled by a stoppage on his out-lap as well as a few other mechanical niggles that confined him to the garage at various stages during the day. When the issues were resolved, Alonso showed good pace, peaking with his best effort in the final hour of the day.

Williams enjoyed their best day bar far on the reliability front, with Rubens Barrichello completing 116 laps over the day, as well as running in the 1m24s range on his 10-lap stints. The Brazilian veteran finished up fourth-quickest.

Renault opted to split the day’s running between Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov once again due to Petrov losing a lot of mileage yesterday with a KERS-related issue. The Russian completed 61 laps en route to eleventh-quickest, while Heidfeld was fifth-fastest with a quick effort late in the day.

Kamui Kobayashi spent most of his day on long runs in the Sauber, before a switch to shorter stints later in the afternoon vaulted him to sixth-quickest, with a fastest lap less than a second slower than Vettel’s best of the day.

Kamui Kobayashi Nico Rosberg
Sauber and Mercedes GP continued their trend of being in the upper-midfield, with Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg racking up considerable mileage each.

Mercedes GP again aimed to build more mileage on its W02, with Nico Rosberg racking up an enormous tally of 131 laps. While showing better consistency on longer runs, the car doesn’t quite seem to have the pace of the front-runners. Rosberg’s best effort came with a qualifying-style sprint late in the day.

McLaren endured another frustrating day, with Jenson Button losing a lot of time in the It was another tough day for Jenson Button, whose new McLaren is proving unreliable...morning with an hydraulics-related issue. One sorted, the former World Champion was able to increase his pace, rising as high as fifth-quickest in the afternoon before slipping back to eighth at the end of the day, complaining of a lack of grip in the radical MP4-26.

Paul di Resta enjoyed more mileage than usual in the new Force India VJM04, where he looked competitive until a throttle problem send him into the gravel at Turn 1. The Scot finished in ninth, one place and over one second quicker than Heikki Kovalainen in the Lotus, who experienced a series of technical niggles during the day that saw him visit the garage a few times for checks and repairs.

Ricardo Teixeira Team Lotus gave an outing to its prospective test driver, Formula 2 graduate Ricardo Teixeira. The Portuguese-Angolan was given 26 laps in the T128 for the team to evaluate him as a potential test driver, and it was no surprise that he was considerably slowest given his lack of miles, finishing over 8 seconds slower and plum last in the timesheets.

Vitantonio Liuzzi had first outing in the HRT Vitantonio Liuzzi was another new sighting in the 2011 paddock, with Hispania Racing giving the former Force India driver an outing in its 2010-spec F110 car. The Italian completed 70 laps and finished by 3.7 seconds off Vettel’s fastest lap, but quicker than Timo Glock in the new Virgin Racing MVR-02 – the British outfit spending much of the day running system checks before it concentrated on some lap times in the afternoon.

 

Barcelona Pre-Season Test (Day 2) Lap Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault RB7 1:23.315 104
2. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 0.204 97
3. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari F150th Italia + 0.663 90
4. Rubens Barrichello BRZ Williams Cosworth FW33 + 0.693 118
5. Nick Heidfeld DEU Renault R31 + 0.927 41
6. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C30 + 0.928 125
7. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 1.415 131
8. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 + 1.608 54
9. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 1.879 80
10. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Renault T128 + 3.106 58
11. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault R31 + 3.569 61
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA HRT Cosworth F110* + 3.729 70
13. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 3.927 66
14. Ricardo Teixeira POR Lotus Renault T128 + 8.269 26

[Images via LAT, GP Update and Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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