Day 2 at Barcelona F1 test: Grosjean goes faster

Source: | live commentary

Romain Grosjean has become the first driver to go fastest on two separate days in pre-season Formula 1 testing, topping the times on the second day in Barcelona.

Having been third fastest in the morning session, Grosjean was busy after lunch, completing a full 60-lap race simulation in the Lotus, using Pirelli’s soft and hard compounds.

He backed that up with a series of fast laps, setting the benchmark time of 1m22.614s with just minutes remaining, on a set of soft tyres.

Jean-Eric Vergne ended the day second, despite not completing a flying lap following the lunch break. The Toro Rosso stopped and briefly caught fire with an engine problem right before lunch in Barcelona, bringing out the red flag.

While a full race simulation was planned for the afternoon session, the STR7 didn’t appear again until within half an hour of the session’s end, and was restricted to pitstop practice.

Neither Vergne nor Grosjean will be back in their respective cars for the rest of the test, with Daniel Ricciardo set to take over for Toro Rosso tomorrow, and Kimi Raikkonen jumping into the Lotus.

Today's times: 

 1.  Grosjean       Lotus           1m22.614s           123
 2.  Vergne         Toro Rosso      1m23.126s  +0.512   31
 3.  Vettel         Red Bull        1m23.361s  +0.747   85
 4.  Alonso         Ferrari         1m23.447s  +0.833   124
 5.  Kovalainen     Caterham        1m23.828s  +1.214   104
 6.  Kobayashi      Sauber          1m23.836s  +1.222   77
 7.  Hulkenberg     Force India     1m23.893s  +1.279   33
 8.  Schumacher     Mercedes        1m23.978s  +1.364   79
 9.  Hamilton       McLaren         1m24.111s  +1.497   65
10.  Senna          Williams        1m24.925s  +2.311   48
11.  Maldonado      Williams        1m25.801s  +3.187   20

In the morning Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was third fastest, another tenth down on Alonso. He was running a programme that concentrated on set-ups and aerodynamic work.

Morning times: 

 1.  Vergne         Toro Rosso      1m23.126s           31
 2.  Alonso         Ferrari         1m23.447s  +0.321   35
 3.  Grosjean       Lotus           1m23.528s  +0.402   34
 4.  Vettel         Red Bull        1m23.536s  +0.410   37
 5.  Kovalainen     Caterham        1m23.828s  +0.702   34
 6.  Hulkenberg     Force India     1m23.893s  +0.767   33
 7.  Hamilton       McLaren         1m24.111s  +0.985   30
 8.  Schumacher     Mercedes        1m24.663s  +1.537   19
 9.  Maldonado      Williams        1m25.801s  +2.675   20
10.  Kobayashi      Sauber          1m26.111s  +2.985   35

Romain Grosjean says Lotus F1 car feels as good as before

“Not at all, nothing really different,” said Grosjean. “It doesn’t change much. Exactly the same good feeling as in Jerez, we can push and we can trust the car – and you can really play with it, which is enjoyable.

“When you have a problem you are a little bit wondering what is going on, so we checked all day long that everything was fine – but I knew what we needed to do to repair the car and make it strong, and when we left we got much stronger.

Grosjean: Aggressive development is key

“You can trust the car and push it to the limit,” said the Frenchman. “If you push a little bit too much you know what is going on next, and this is really good when you are driving the car.

“You push hard and it understeers in the fast corners, then if you push a little bit harder there will be a little bit more understeer. But what is not coming is that you have a snap from somewhere and you don’t understand what is going on, which is not really nice when you are driving.

“This car is really good on that aspect, and you can get quite easily on the paper a good laptime.”

Kimi arrived in Barcelona with a guest and watched the test from the garage:

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