After another ill-disciplined stint behind the wheel at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, Pastor Maldonado has perhaps atoned for some of his wild driving by topping the timesheets as the second in-season test drew to a close at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Venezuelan clocked a 1:24.871 – some four-tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton’s pole-winning effort a few days before – to finish the day 0.8 seconds clear of Nico Rosberg.
The times are themselves wildly misleading, so any suggestion that Lotus is suddenly a Mercedes-beater would be wildly inaccurate.
Maldonado’s time – not to mention those of a few less-fancied runners, such as Marussia – should put the whole thing into persepective, as the teams are free to run their cars on any tyres and with any set-up configuration they choose. Added to that, the well-rubbered track, despite some showers on the opening day of the test, was clearly a lot faster than during the Grand Prix weekend itself.
Nonetheless, it was a positive showing for Lotus. Maldonado clocked 102 laps, underscoring the slowly improving reliability of the Renault engine. His fastest lap came on the Super Soft tyres, which few other teams bothered running.
Rosberg managed the same tally, with the Mercedes F1W05 Hybrid (as it is now known) trialing a ‘megaphone’ style exhaust in the opening few hours, although the results were not promising as it did nothing to improve the noise levels of the turbo-hybrid power unit.
Kimi Räikkönen had both days behind the wheel of the Ferrari, and after only managing 21 laps on Day 1, the Finn had a much more productive second day. The 2007 World Champion racked up almost a century of laps en route to the third-fastest time.
Fourth-quickest was Sauber’s Esteban Gutiérrez, whose fastest lap was two seconds slower than Maldonado’s. The Venezuelan had his running shortened when he was forced into the pits with flames licking out the rear of his Ferrari-powered C33.
Williams test driver Susie Wolff had her first outing behind the wheel of the Williams FW36 ahead of her anticipated Friday practice outings at the British and German Grands Prix. She spun on her sixth lap but ran trouble-free for the rest of the day to finish fifth-quickest.
After Max Chilton’s session-topping effort on Day 1, Jules Bianchi took over the controls of the Marussia Ferrari and finished the day one spot behind, despite missing much of the afternoon session.
Sebastian Vettel was confined to the pit lane for much of the morning while his Red Bull Racing mechanics resolved the gearbox issue that his Daniel Ricciardo the day before. He completed a solid afternoon’s work, posting a 1:27.973 as his best effort.
Force India and McLaren put their respective reserve drivers, Daniel Juncadella and Stoffel Vandoorne, through their paces as they worked on getting the duo their FIA Superlicenses. Juncadella crashed at Turn 4 to bring his day to an earlier end, while Vandoorne managed the most laps of anyone (136).
Daniil Kvyat finished slowest of the day’s runners with his Toro Rosso sidelined with mechanical woes after less than two dozen laps.
Caterham was missing in action completely, with the damage from Kamui Kobayashi’s accident the day before proving too great a task to repair in order to give reserve driver Robin Frijns a run.
2014 Spain In-Season Test – Day 2 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:24.871||102|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:25.805||+ 0.834||102|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:26.480||+ 1.509||94|
|4.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:26.972||+ 2.001||85|
|5.||Susie Wolff||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:27.280||+ 2.309||55|
|6.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:27.718||+ 2.747||55|
|7.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:27.973||+ 3.002||73|
|8.||Daniel Juncadella||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:28.278||+ 3.307||91|
|9.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:28.441||+ 3.470||136|
|10.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:28.910||+ 3.939||21|
|11.||Robin Frijns||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||no time||0|
Images via XPB Images