The second pre-season test of the 2015 Formula 1 season gets underway this week at the Circuit de Catalunya, with the nine confirmed teams hoping to make progress with their new car.
Scuderia Ferrari were the pacesetters during the opening test at the beginning of the month at the Circuito de Jerez, but the Barcelona track should give us more of a realistic understanding on where teams will be in 2015. Sebastian Vettel was fastest on the first two days while Kimi Raikkonen ended the test at Jerez with the fastest time overall.
The Sauber F1 Team showed signs of pace in Jerez, with both Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson finishing inside the top two, while Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS were the team to run the most amount of laps with only minor mechanical gremlins and the odd spin getting in Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s way.
The Mercedes-powered Williams and Lotus teams will be looking to build on promising Jerez tests. Both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa put good mileage on the new Williams car in Jerez, while Susie Wolff will get her first taste of the 2015 machinery when she takes to track on the opening day.
Lotus managed to get their new car on track for day two after arriving late at the opening test, with both Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean believing the car is a big improvement on the 2014 car the team struggled with throughout the season. Maldonado will get two days in the car this time around with Grosjean taking the final day, with reserve driver and 2014 GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer on track for day two.
Renault believe they have solved the issues that cost them track time and performance in Jerez, with Infiniti Red Bull Racing eager to get distance on their RB11 with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso will be looking to get more track time for their rookies Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren and Honda will be looking to get some more useful running than what happened in Jerez where mechanical issues restricted the team to less than 80 laps in four days. Both Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will be hoping to get some meaningful running and some longer runs as they prepare themselves for the new season.
Sahara Force India have confirmed their presence in the Barcelona test despite still not having a 2015 car ready to run. They will be bringing their 2014 VJM07 to Spain, with early rumours that Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein will be behind the wheel for all four days. However, the team had said that regular drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez will be testing at some point in Barcelona.
Barcelona Pre-season Driver List
Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS: Lewis Hamilton (Thursday, Saturday); Nico Rosberg (Friday, Sunday)
Infiniti Red Bull Racing: Daniel Ricciardo (Thursday, Friday); Daniil Kvyat (Saturday, Sunday)
Williams Martini Racing: Susie Wolff (Thursday); Valtteri Bottas (Friday, Sunday afternoon); Felipe Massa (Saturday, Sunday morning)
Scuderia Ferrari: Kimi Raikkonen (Thursday, Friday); Sebastian Vettel (Saturday, Sunday
McLaren-Honda: Jenson Button (Thursday, Friday); Fernando Alonso (Saturday, Sunday)
Sahara Force India: Pascal Wehrlein (Thursday, Saturday); Sergio Perez (Friday); Nico Hulkenberg (Sunday)
Lotus F1 Team: Pastor Maldonado (Thursday, Saturday); Jolyon Palmer (Friday); Romain Grosjean (Sunday)
Sauber F1 Team: Felipe Nasr (Thursday, Sunday); Marcus Ericsson (Friday, Saturday)
Scuderia Toro Rosso: Max Verstappen (Thursday, Saturday); Carlos Sainz Jr (Friday, Sunday)