Romain Grosjean continues to show good performance in the new Lotus E21, and posted the fastest time of the Tuesday morning session.
The major news of the morning was Lewis Hamilton‘s crash. The 2008 champion suffered a loss of rear brake pressure which caused him to lock his front wheels and go off at the Dry Sack hairpin. The car suffered damage to the front wing and suspension.
Hamilton had completed only 15 laps when the problem occurred. It has been a difficult start to the first pre-season test for Mercedes, with team-mate Nico Rosberg‘s day curtailed early yesterday due to an electrical problem that saw the car briefly catch fire.
Mercedes later confirmed on Twitter that they have traced Hamilton’s problem to the hydraulic brake line which connects to the right-rear break caliper. There has not yet been any indication on when Hamilton will be able to resume testing.
There was two other red flags in the session, with Daniel Ricciardo stopping on circuit only a few minutes into proceedings. Newly signed Luiz Razia brought out the last red flag of the morning – stopping on the main straight to cause a short delay as the Marussia team recovered the stricken car.
In contrast, it was a productive morning for Romain Grosjean, who racked up 45 laps and posted the fastest time (1m18.828) to go into the lunch break fastest and beating Jenson Button’s time from Monday.
Force India’s Paul di Resta finished second, having completed 58 laps, one tenth off the pace. Elsewhere, despite his early stoppage, Toro Rosso had soon got Daniel Ricciardo back out on circuit, with the Australian holding the third fastest time, having completed 41 laps.
Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari have completed strong programmes so far, but continue to keep a low profile, with the three being fourth, seventh and eighth fastest so far. Despite his crash, Lewis Hamilton remained in sixth place, six tenths off the pace.
There is no official lunch break at Jerez, but many teams have elected to take a break, a full report of today’s session will be available this evening.