Formula 1

Rosberg takes Mercedes to the top on day 2

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Nico Rosberg took Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS to the top of the timing screens on day two of the third and final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The German, runner-up in the championship to team-mate Lewis Hamilton in 2014, ran the soft tyre for the first time this winter to set a time of 1m22.792s, comfortable faster than any lap time seen so far.

Rosberg was also one of six drivers to complete more than 100 laps during the day.

He was 1.203s quicker than second placed Valtteri Bottas, who completed his own soft Pirelli tyre run in his Williams Martini Racing machine.

Bottas was just 0.076s faster than Felipe Nasr of the Sauber F1 Team, who ran 141 untroubled laps in Spain, while the busiest driver of the day was Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth fastest for Scuderia Ferrari, completing 143 circuits.

It was a much better day for McLaren-Honda, with Jenson Button completing 101 laps before stopping between turns 7 and 8 late in the day.

Another late red flag was caused by the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, who stopped in the pit entry with just minutes of the session remaining. The Venezuelan finished sixth fastest.

Max Verstappen was seventh for Scuderia Toro Rosso, completing 139 laps, but saw his running ended early when his car suffered an electrical fault. His best time was almost four seconds slower than the pace set by the Mercedes.

Daniil Kvyat was eighth for Infiniti Red Bull Racing, and caused the first red flag of the day during the afternoon session, while Nico Hulkenberg got out on track to debut the new Sahara Force India VJM08, and ran 77 laps with only a puncture affecting their track time.

Valtteri Bottas ended day two with the second quickest time (Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)

Valtteri Bottas ended day two with the second quickest time (Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)

Circuit de Catalunya Pre-Season Test 3 Day 2 Times

1 6 Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes 1m22.792s 106
2 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m23.995s 90
3 12 Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.071s 141
4 5 Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari 1m25.339s 143
5 22 Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m25.590s 101
6 13 Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 1m26.705s 140
7 33 Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1m26.766s 139
8 26 Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault 1m26.965s 84
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m28.412s 77
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