Sebastian Vettel has continued to dominate the pre-season testing timesheets as he familiarises himself with the Ferrari team, clocking a new benchmark lap time of 1:20.984 to comfortably lead the rest of the field in a rain-interrupted second day of running at the Circuito de Jerez.
The German was on the pace early in the day, and reeled off a succession of ever-quicker times on the Medium Pirelli tyres to eclipse his fastest lap time from the day before to the tune of more than one-and-a-half seconds.
Best of the rest again went to a Soft compound run by a Sauber, with F1 debutant Felipe Nasr getting his first hit-out behind the wheel of the striking blue-and-yellow C34. Nasr’s best lap time came late in the day, just before a sudden downpour rolled into the area and guaranteed no further high-speed running.
Half a second further back was Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, whose fastest time also came on the Pirelli Soft rubber.
The works Mercedes team continued their high-mileage running, with Lewis Hamilton now behind the wheel. The reigning World Champion tallied up a solid 91 laps over the day, with his best time 0.171 seconds off Bottas’ quickest lap. It was not all plain sailing, however, with Hamilton forced to park his F1W06 Hybrid in the pit lane when is sprang a water leak.
Last of those to clock up at least a race distance on Day 2 was Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen. The teenager ran in both the wet and dry conditions as he continued his graduation from Formula 3 in the STR10.
Having arrived late at the circuit on Day 1, the Lotus mechanics pulled an ‘all nighter’ to debut the team’s new E23 challenger. Pastor Maldonado was given the honour of the first laps in the car, pulling out of the garage 90 minutes into the day’s play. He caused the day’s only red flag when he was forced to bring his car to a halt on the approach to the final corner.
Lotus’ results would give the team plenty of cheer, but the same could not be said at McLaren, which endured another wretched day with its Honda-powered MP4-30. As was the case on Day 1, the car didn’t clock up more than half-a-dozen laps over the day, with Jenson Button’s best lap a crawl around the Spanish circuit – he was over 30 seconds slower than Vettel’s best time, although he did run in the wet conditions only.
There was also dramas in the Red Bull Racing camp, with Daniil Kvyat destroying the only front wing the team brought to the circuit when he went off track in the first sector. The Russian was consigned to a series of installation runs for the rest of the day while the team waited on the arrival of new parts.
2015 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Jerez Day 2 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:20.984||88|
|2.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:21.867||+ 0.883||88|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:22.319||+ 1.455||61|
|4.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:22.490||+ 1.626||91|
|5.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:24.167||+ 3.303||73|
|6.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:25.802||+ 4.938||41|
|7.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:54.655||+ 33.791||6|
|8.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||no time||18|
Images via XPB Images