Räikkönen fastest on day 2 of F1 testing as Concerns grow Over Mercedes steering wheel

by Ellie Jane

Kimi Räikkönen, of Alfa Romeo Racing set the fastest time of the second day of Barcelona Pre-Season testing ahead of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 Championship; But the day’s main story came from Mercedes AMG Petronas‘ new steering wheel which was seen in use by reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

Räikkönen, pipped BWT Racing Point F1 Team, driver Sergio Pèrez to top spot during the second day of testing. As the Räikkönen, set a time of 1:17:091, on the ultra soft tyres from Pirelli.

Mercedes Bring ‘Innovative’ Steering Wheel

The main concern for the day, was regarding Mercedes’ new steering wheel as Hamilton drove the W11. The new system has been named dual axle steering by the team.

Concerns were raised regarding whether the new innovation by the World Champions was legal and met the FIA guidelines. However, the Silver Arrows made it clear that the FIA were aware of the wheel.

James Allison, the Technical Director at Mercedes, explained the new steering wheel: “It allows the drivers an extra dimension of control on the steering system.

Why we do it, exactly how it works and all those sorts of things, we’d rather keep those to ourselves. But we hope it’s an innovation that will bring an advantage during the season.

It’s an example of how this team is always pushing to try to find new ways to make our car quicker and it’s just great fun having it at the track.

Credit: Octane Photos Ltd

The day saw the midfield battle it out, indicating a tough fight between the teams outside the top three of Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari, and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing. It wasn’t until late in the day that Raikkonen managed to take top spot from Perez, who had set his fastest time on the medium tyres.

It seems, the Racing Point RP20 is a strong car after the form the team have shown over the two days of testing. Racing Point are aiming to reclaim fourth in the championship.m, which will led to battle’s with McLaren F1 team and Renault Sport F1 Team. Daniel Riccardo, managed to forty-one laps in and the third fastest time of the day.

Half way through the day Red Bull switched over the Honda power unit as a precaution as the team checked through the data, it was later revealed there was nothing wrong with the power unit.

Credit: Octane Photos Ltd

First Crash of Testing

The first crash of Winter testing came toward the end of the second day as Haas F1 Team driver, Romain Grosjean crashed his car.

The Frenchman lost control of his VF-20 at turn four and spun as a result brushing the wall of the track, thankfully he managed to get himself back to the pits unaided.

It was not the only incident of the day, Valtteri Bottas, spun at turn thirteen after taking over the car from Hamilton in the afternoon, while he recovered from spin the W11 later suffered electrical which saw him get out the car after seventy-seven laps.

Räikkönen also had a spin at the same time at the chicane. This incident brought out the red flag, as he stopped on track in his C39.

Line Ups For Day Three

Day three of the first week of testing at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona will see lineups switch once again.

Mercedes, will continue to switch drivers during the day with Bottas starting and Hamilton taking over in the afternoon, ending week one of testing. Haas will follow suit with Grosjean starting in the morning and Kevin Magnussen taking over in the afternoon.

Antonio Giovinazzi, will take on duties for Alfa Romeo for the whole day, while Red Bull will switch between Max Verstappen in the morning and Alex Albon in the afternoon.

Scuderia AlphaTauri will have Daniil Kvyat in the AT01 in the morning and Pierre Gasly in it in the afternoon. Renault and McLaren, will follow a similar choice with Esteban Ocon in the R.S.20 in the morning and Riccardo in the afternoon.

McLaren, will have Carlos Sainz Jr, in the morning and Lando Norris in the afternoon.

Ferrari, will only have Sebstian Vettel in the car during the final day of testing for the first week.

Fastest Times and Laps for Day Two of Pre-Season Testing

PositionDriverTeamLap TimeGapLaps
Completed
1Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo1:17.091134
2Sergio PerezRacing Point1:17.347+0.256145
3Daniel RiccardoRenault1:17.749+0.65841
4Alex AlbonRed Bull1:17.912+0.821134
5Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1:18.121+1.030147
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1:18.154+1.06373
7George RussellWilliams1:18.266+1.175116
8Charles LeclercFerrari1:18.335+1.24449
9Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:18.387+1.296106
10Lando NorrisMcLaren1:18.474+1.383137
11Romain GrosjeanHaas1:18.496+1.405158
12Esteban OconRenault1:18.557+1.46652
13Valtteri BottasMercedes1:19.307+2.21677

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