Max Verstappen headed the timings board for Red Bull Racing on the morning session of the second and final day of in-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today (Wednesday).
The Dutchman followed a programme of medium and soft tyre runs, posting the fastest time of the morning session on the soft compound, around an hour before the teams stopped for lunch. The time of 1:23.267 was five tenths quicker than the fastest time posted on Tuesday morning, by Jenson Button. F1’s youngest ever race winner was also able to show the power gains brought by the new Renault engine, being trialled in Barcelona this week, with the RB12 able to post competitive times in the speed traps.
Second fastest this morning was Stoffel Vandoorne, aboard the MP4–31 for the first time since scoring the McLaren F1 team’s first point of 2016, in Bahrain. The Belgian posted his time on the super-soft type, whilst completing a raft of aerodynamic and mechanical checks for the Woking based squad.
Daniil Kvyat was third fastest in the Toro Rosso, with his time of 1:24.737 posted on the soft tyre. The Russian was using the test session to get to grips with the STR11 after finding the differences in set up compared to that of the RB12, meant he would have to adjust the driving style he had been used to at Red Bull.
Kevin Magnussen posted a time of 1:25.133 to go fifth fastest in the Renault Sport F1, whilst testing an array of parts for the Enstone based squad and completing 53 laps in the process.
Pascal Wehrlein was next up in the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS, just three hundredths of a second slower than the Dane ahead of him. Esteban Ocon was penciled in to take over the reins of the W07 from Nico Rosberg on Wednesday, however a late call to bring in Wehrlein this morning, a more experienced hand, meant the Frenchman will have to wait for his chance to drive the championship winning car.
Esteban Gutierrez was sixth fastest for the Haas F1 team, as the Mexican tested aerodynamics of the VF16 for the American squad, putting him just three thousandths of a second ahead of Scuderia Ferrari academy driver Antonio Fuoco, who was driving the SF16-H for the Maranello based squad. The 19-year-old’s programme included engine mapping, evaluation of the rear wing and set-up work.
Alfonso Celis Jr, criticised by Sergio Perez yesterday for not being quick enough, was eighth fastest for the Sahara Force India squad, ahead of Felipe Massa. The Williams Martini Racing driver continued where Alex Lynn left off yesterday, with evaluation of the high-downforce set up, sporting the double-decker wing that the Oxfordshire based squad shocked the paddock with yesterday. The Brazilian’s fastest time put him in ninth, ahead of Manor Racing Reserve Driver Jordan King, who despite running off track at Turn 7 and bringing out the red flags briefly, managed to rack up 48 laps whilst working rapidly through the day’s programme.
2016 Formula 1 in-season test – Barcelona – Day 2 – AM
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