Nico Rosberg clocked the fastest time on the first day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, setting a 1:23.022 just before the lunch break.

Mercedes ran the soft tyre for the first time this season with Rosberg behind the wheel, before teammate Lewis Hamilton took over driving duties in the afternoon session to complete a race simulation, adding 90 laps to Rosberg’s 82.

Valtteri Bottas set the second quickest time in the Williams on the ultra-soft tyre, which saw him clear third placed Fernando Alonso by 1.5 seconds. Alonso suffered a “small telemetry glitch” described by the team before lunch, although he was back out on track midway through the afternoon, racking up 93 laps in total for McLaren-Honda.

Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen ended the day’s running in fourth position, after spending a considerable amount of time in second before he stopped out on track just after lunch. The Finn’s gearbox became stuck in eighth gear on the pit straight which saw his lap total reach just 72, 100 less than the Mercedes pair.

Brake issues at Red Bull caused a lengthy delay for Daniil Kvyat and the RB12, when a brake casing problem caused a small fire at the rear of the car. Kvyat made up for lost time in the afternoon session, setting the fifth fastest time with 69 laps.

Max Verstappen was 0.15 seconds off Hamilton’s best time in seventh, while Hülkenberg was another tenth behind in eighth position. Both drivers enjoyed a hassle-free testing day, completing 144 and 121 laps respectively.

Felipe Nasr debuted the new 2016-spec Sauber C35 and showcased its reliability, lapping the Circuit de Catalunya 103 times on his way to finishing in ninth position, just under two and a half seconds off the pace.

Renault almost made it the entire day without running into any trouble, although after 119 laps and just a few minutes left to run in the session, Kevin Magnussen was forced to stop out on track which caused a red flag.

Esteban Gutiérrez was eleventh-fastest for Haas after their session was cut short due to a fuel system problem, which left the Mexican with a total of 23 laps.

Rio Haryanto also experienced a long stint on the sidelines as he missed most of the morning session as his Manor Racing team worked to fix an oil leak. The Indonesian went on to complete 45 laps and was over 4.5 seconds off the pace.

2016 Second Pre-season Test – Day 1 Unofficial Results
Driver Team / Entry Laps Best Time
1. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 82 1:23.022
2. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 123 + 0.207
3. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda Mp4-31 93 + 1.713
4. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H 72 + 1.814
5. Daniil Kvyat ru Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 69 + 2.027
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 90 + 2.029
7. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 144 + 2.154
8. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 121 + 2.314
9. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 103 + 2.471
10. Kevin Magnussen Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 119 + 2.378
11. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-16 23 + 3.639
12. Rio Haryanto id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 45  + 4.603

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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