Vettel Fastest in Barcelona Day 2
Red Bull have finished top of the time sheet for the second day in a row at the Barcelona pre-season test. It was current World Champion Sebastian Vettel's turn behind the wheel of the RB7 on Wednesday, and the German was quick to demonstrate the pace of the team's 2011 car, setting an impressive time of 1m 21.865s at the start of a five-lap stint in the morning session. Not only was this time fastest enough to place him quickest on the day, but also the quickest lap time set by anyone at the Barcelona tests so far.
Red Bull's sister team, Toro Rosso also had a good day of testing to produce the second fastest time. Sebastien Buemi set his best time in the afternoon session for the team, as well as managed an impressive 120 laps over the day despite stopping on track and causing a red flag mid-afternoon.
“We can be pleased with what we achieved today, because with 120 laps, it meant we completed all the programme we had planned." said Buemi "Apart from the race simulation, I was also able to do a qualifying simulation. We showed a reasonable performance level and the team did a very good job in preparing the car so well. Overall, it has been a productive test. Now, we must wait and see if we can make even more progress over the next two days with Jaime driving and then we can see where we really are when we get to Melbourne.”
Lotus Renault GP's Vitaly Petrov was third fastest on the day, producing a time of 1m 22.670s at the start of a four-lap stint before switching to long runs. The young Russian driver did cause the afternoon session to end slightly early when he stopped out on track at Turn 6 causing the final red flag of the day.
Mercedes GP brought a new exhaust and bodywork upgrades to the test today, with more significant changes expect later in the week. However, a bodywork problem in the afternoon session brought the team's day to an earlier finish. Nico Rosberg who finished 8th fastest today said: "It was nice to get the first of our upgrades on the car today, and to feel their potential. Thanks to everyone at the team for their hard work as I think we have some impressive developments, even though we couldn't test or show the full performance today as not all of the elements are on the car and working together yet. We had glimpses that showed that the full package should be a big step. The bodywork problem cost some time at the end, however we still learned a great deal."
Meanwhile over at the McLaren garage it was another tough day, as the team were hit with various issues in the morning session. Firstly, a hydraulic leak and then two exhaust issues forced the team to abandon a planned race simulation with today's driver, Lewis Hamilton. Although, the British champion did get up to speed in the afternoon session to produce the fourth fastest time of the day, in a single-lap, qualifying-style run.
The Ferrari of Felipe Massa was just behind the McLaren in fifth. The Ferrari was sporting a new exhaust and some aerodynamic changes. The form of the Ferrari was more encouraging than the result on the day suggests, as there were no one-lap-only runs from Massa. Infact, Massa produced his fastest time at the start of a five-lap outing, and on longer runs the Ferrari's pace often matched Vettel's.
Williams' day was hampered with a KERS problem, which saw the team miss out on the majority of the morning session. Virgin Racing were also hit with technical issues in the form of an electrical issue, which put Jerome D'Ambrosio last and 7.1s off the pace.
F1 TEAM TESTING -T04 – BARCELONA (WEDNESDAY)
Paul di Resta
All timing unofficial