Formula 1

Rosberg puts Mercedes on top in Spain

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For the first time during the pre-season tests at the Circuit de Catalunya, the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team sat at the top of the time sheets, with Nico Rosberg setting the pace on day one of the second test.

Mercedes have decided to split all four of the test days this week between Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and the German took advantage to set a time of 1m23.022s during the morning session, while Hamilton ran a different programme to finish sixth fastest in the afternoon.

Rosberg’s quickest lap was set on the Soft Pirelli tyre, the first time the team have utilised anything other than the Medium tyre this year, while second placed Valtteri Bottas’ lap in his Williams Martini Racing car was set on the Ultrasoft tyre; the Finn’s lap was 0.207s slower than Rosberg’s.

Fernando Alonso completed an encouraging 93 laps in his McLaren-Honda and finished third fastest, albeit 1.713s back on Rosberg, while Kimi Raikkonen had a troubled day for Scuderia Ferrari, losing track time after stopping on track just after lunch. The Finn returned to the track late in the day, but could only complete 72 laps on Tuesday, finishing fourth fastest, 1.814s off the pace.

A brake casing problem saw Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat lose some track time, with the Russian driver ending fifth fastest, ahead of Hamilton and Max Verstappen, who completed the most laps of the day – 144 – on his way to a best time of 1m25.176s in the freshly-liveried Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Nico Hulkenberg was eighth for Sahara Force India, while Felipe Nasr put good mileage on the new Sauber as the Brazilian gave the C35 its debut after running the first test with the 2015 car. Nasr completed 103 laps of the Spanish circuit, with a best time of 1m25.493s, 2.471s back on the pace of Rosberg.

Kevin Magnussen completed the top ten for Renault, ahead of Esteban Gutierrez, who was forced to cut short his running after just 23 laps due to a fuel system problem on his Haas F1 Team car, while Rio Haryanto ended at the back for Manor Racing after losing much of the morning due to an oil leak.

Circuit de Catalunya Pre-Season Test 2 Day 1 Times

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