Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel put Red Bull Racing back at the top of the time sheets in the second practice session at Barcelona.
It was a closely fought session, with just 0.083 covering Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. Additionally, half a second covered the top seven, with the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg looking quick, despite an early session spin for Hamilton.
The Toro Rossos and Force Indias look closely matched this weekend, with Adrian Sutil, Jean-Eric Vergne, Paul di Resta and Daniel Ricciardo locking out the next four positions of the time sheets. Di Resta’s session was finished 15 minutes early however, as he suffered a tyre failure similar to the one Hamilton suffered in FP3 at Bahrain.
McLaren have brought a raft of new updates to their car for the start of the European season, but so far in practice their performance has been inconclusive with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez only managing twelfth and thirteenth fastest respectively.
Further down the order, Sauber and Williams were closely matched with the four drivers finished ahead of Romain Grosjean, who spent most the session concentrating on long run pace and therefore did not set a representative lap time.
Giedo van der Garde was the fastest driver from the “new” teams, ahead of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi, with Charles Pic and Max Chilton struggling for pace and ending a long way behind their team mates by the end of the session.