Kimi Räikkönen has taken Ferrari’s new SF70H challenger to the top of the timesheets as the second day of Formula 1 pre-season testing drew to a close at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Finn’s fastest time, a 1:20.960 posted on Soft Pirelli tyres, was almost eight-tenths of a second quicker than the 1:21.765 posted by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on the opening day of the test session and a full 1.1 seconds faster than last year’s Spanish Grand Prix pole time.
Räikkönen ended the day with a healthy tally of 108 laps for the day, an encouraging result for Ferrari on top of the 126 laps posted by teammate Sebastian Vettel the day before as the team looks to start its 2017 campaign with a reliable car.
Hamilton, who drove in the morning and finished quickest overall in that four-hour session, finished just 0.023 seconds adrift of Räikkönen’s time after being overhauled by the 2007 World Champion in the latter half of the day. The Englishman’s best time was posted on the quicker Super Soft rubber.
The three-time World Champion then handed over the controls to his new teammate Valtteri Bottas, with the former Williams driver posting a further 101 laps in a mammoth session to give the new W08 – which ran with a mix of aerodynamic parts, including an updated version of their ‘T-wing’ concept (pictured right) – the highest mileage of the day.
The Finn ended up seventh-fastest on the timesheets, over two seconds slower than Hamilton, with his session spent running on race-level fuel loads.
He also had a scare thanks to a sudden gust of wind which caused him to lose control at the high-speed Campsa right-hander, sending him spinning into minor contact with the barriers on the inside of the corner.
“I had a small off but it wasn’t anything serious; I lost the rear end with a gust of tail wind that was quite sudden,” he recalled later. “This is testing, you need to find the limits.”
While there was a sizable gap after the fastest two runners, the testing times carry little meaning given the widely varied programs the teams are running as they trial new development parts and fine-tune their new cars.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had his proper hit-out in the new RB13 and finished third-fastest with a best Soft-compound lap time of 1:22.200 after 89 laps.
The Dutch driver finished ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who tallied up a day’s high 118 laps on his second day in the Ferrari VF-17. The Dane needed the Super Soft tyres to get within four-thousandths of a second of Verstappen’s time.
Fifth-quickest was Force India’s new signing, Esteban Ocon, who tallied up 86 laps in his first hit-out for the team and posted a fastest time of 1:22.509 on the Super Soft rubber.
Also having his first run in 2017-spec machinery was Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who took his STR12 to a fastest time of 1:22.956 over 68 laps of running.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer missed out on vital running for much of the morning session while Renault waited on a replacement brake duct part to be flown in. The Englishman was out on track later in the day and totaled 53 laps in the RS17, with a best time of 1:24.139 on the Soft compound tyres.
GP2 Series runner-up and Ferrari reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi had his first hit-out in 2017-spec machinery as Sauber’s stand-in for the still-recovering Pascal Wehrlein. The Italian’s early running was delayed while the Swiss team opted to change a power unit, but tallied up a near race distance in the C36. Despite a minor spin during the day, he showed little nerves and posted a respectable 1:24.617 fastest time on Soft tyres.
It was a poor day for both McLaren and Williams. Stoffel Vandoorne had his first hit-out for the former, but had to park his MCL32 early after a handful of slow laps when it required another power unit change. The Belgian returned to action later on and completed 40 laps for the day, with his fastest time being nearly five seconds off the leading pace. With 69 laps run across three separate power units in two days of testing to-date – amounting to barely more than a race distance all up – the Woking squad is looking in trouble.
Down at Williams, the team’s rookie driver Lance Stroll ran off track on just his twelfth lap in the FW40, damaging a front winglet thanks to his excursion. The Canadian was able to recover to the pits, but with the team needing a spare wing flown in from its headquarters, its day’s running was brought to an early close.
F1 pre-season testing continues in Barcelona on Wednesday.
|2017 FORMULA 1 PRE-SEASON TEST – DAY 2 UNOFFICIAL TIMES|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Tyre||Laps|
|1.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:20.960||108|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:20.983||66|
|3.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:22.200||89|
|4.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:22.204||118|
|5.||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:22.509||86|
|6.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR12||1:22.956||68|
|7.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:22.986||101|
|8.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:24.139||53|
|9.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:24.617||66|
|10.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||1:25.600||40|
|11.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:26.040||12|
Images via Mercedes AMG Petronas and Scuderia Ferrari
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