Felipe Massa ended the opening day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the fastest time as his Williams Martini Racing team made up for lost time on Tuesday.
Massa had been forced to sit out the final day of the first test last week when team-mate Lance Stroll crashed heavily on day three, but the Brazilian completed 168 laps around the Spanish circuit in the FW40, setting a best time of 1:19.726 on Supersoft Pirelli tyres before turning his focus on longer runs.
Massa’s time was just 0.021 seconds down on the fastest time of the first test, set by Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Valtteri Bottas, but it meant he finished 0.174 seconds clear of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who completed 89 laps in the RB13, although the Australian’s best time was set on the Ultrasoft tyre.
Sebastian Vettel equalled Massa’s lap count for Scuderia Ferrari, with the German also dipping beneath the 1:20 barrier, his best lap of 1:19.906 on the Soft tyre, which will continue to give heart that the SF70H has genuine pace heading into the new season.
Lewis Hamilton completed 49 laps in finishing fourth fastest during the morning session for Mercedes despite a damaged floor on his W08, before he handed over to team-mate Bottas for the afternoon, with the Finn completing 86 laps and ending fifth fastest.
Esteban Ocon also had a productive day for the Sahara Force India F1 Team, setting a best time of 1:21.347 and completing 142 laps. The Frenchman ended up just ahead of former Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg, who only drove in the afternoon session for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, but the German ended up causing the only red flag of day in the closing moments.
Hülkenberg had taken over from team-mate Jolyon Palmer, but the Briton’s running was restricted to just the 15 laps due to a sensor issue on his RS17. In the short amount of time he had, he could only set a best time of 1:24.790, which left him down at the very bottom of the timing screens.
Former Renault driver Kevin Magnussen was back on track for the Haas F1 Team, completing 81 laps and setting the eighth fastest time of the day, while the Scuderia Toro Rosso team will be happy to get a significant day of running in after very little laps during the final two days of the first test. Daniil Kvyat was behind the wheel on Tuesday, completing 83 laps and setting a best time of 1:21.743.
After yet more dramas for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team – the team were forced to change engines again after an electrical fault – Stoffel Vandoorne was able to hit 80 laps on Tuesday, but the Belgian could only set a best time of 1:22.537, almost three seconds down on the pace of Massa out front.
The Sauber F1 Team split their day between their drivers, with Pascal Wehrlein having his first outing in the C36 after recovering from his back injury that ruled him out of the first test last week. The German completed 47 laps in the morning and team-mate Marcus Ericsson 53 laps in the afternoon, although they were 3.610 seconds and 3.904 seconds down respectively, ahead only of Palmer.
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