Pastor Maldonado was quickest on the second day of testing at Barcelona as Lotus enjoyed its best test day of the year so far.
Having been hampered by reliability issues in the Bahrain in-season test, Lotus had a much more productive two days as Charles Pic completed 69 laps and set the second fastest time on Tuesday before Maldonado hit three figures on Wednesday. Maldonado’s best time of 1:24.871 came on the supersoft tyres and left him almost a second clear of Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg himself completed 102 laps, and started the day by testing a ‘megaphone’ exhaust fitted to his car as part of a test designed to improve the sound of the new engines. However, after some early runs with little audible difference, the exhaust was removed for the team’s original specification.
While Mercedes could enjoy the luxury of testing sound-enhancing parts, Red Bull had a tough morning as Vettel didn’t emerge in the opening two hours. Fortunes improved after lunch, however, with the team carrying out aero testing and Vettel clocking 72 laps.
Third quickest was Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari, who completed 90 laps to recover from a troublesome day on Tuesday during which he caused two red flags. He ended the day half a second quicker than the Ferrari-powered Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, with a brief fire at the rear of the car in the pit lane before lunchtime causing slight concern for the team.
Susie Wolff had an encouraging day for Williams as she got her first taste of the FW36 and set the fifth fastest time with a 1:27.280 on the soft compound tyre. The one blot on the copybook was a spin trying to get on the power out of Turn 10 which caused a red flag in the morning session but the car was undamaged.
Having topped the timesheets on Tuesday, Marussia had a tougher day on Wednesday as Jules Bianchi was confined to the garage for much of the afternoon session with a technical problem. However, the team did well to get Bianchi back out in the final ten minutes and he posted a 1:27.718 on soft tyres.
McLaren used a day of tyre testing for Pirelli to give Stoffel Vandoorne his first run in F1 machinery and he had a very productive day as he completed 136 laps, although with Pirelli setting the run plan he was limited to a best time of 1:28.441.
There was no running for Caterham on Wednesday as the damage caused by Kamui Kobayashi’s crash late on Tuesday prevented the team from continuing. Robin Frijns was the unfortunate driver to miss out on track time as Caterham packed up early to head to Monaco. (Source: crash.net)
Circuit: Circuit de Catalunya – 4.655 km
Driver: Kimi Raikkonen
Car: Ferrari F14 T
Weather: air temperature 13/27°C, track temperature 20/34 °C. Sunny
Laps/Km completed: 94/438
Best lap: 1:26.480
Scuderia Ferrari ended up third fastest on the second and final day of the second of the three in-season tests planned for this year.
Constant speed runs for aero measurement work and set-up testing with the F14 T were on the agenda today. Kimi Raikkonen made up for some of the time lost yesterday to various difficulties, bringing a busy programme to a close at the Catalan track.
Most of the running was done on the Medium tyres, ending on the softer one. There were no problems today and the weather was much more spring-like than yesterday.
Scuderia Ferrari will be back in action at the Monaco Grand Prix, the sixth round of the world championship, over the weekend of 25th May, on the Monte Carlo street circuit.
Pos Number Driver Team Time Laps 1 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1.24.871 102 2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1.25.805 102 3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1.26.480 93 4 21 Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber-Ferrari 1.26.972 84 5 41 Susie Wolff Williams-Mercedes 1.27.280 55 6 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1.27.718 55 7 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.27.973 72 8 34 Daniel Juncadella Force India-Mercedes 1.28.272 91 9 32 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Mercedes 1.28.441 136 10 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1.28.910 21