Winter Testing for the 2017 Formula One season continued today at the Catalunya circuit. Mercedes set the pace on the opening day, while McLaren and Red Bull had ground to make up from car issues on the first day. Read our report from day two of the pre-season test.
The drivers taking part in today’s test were: Max Verstappen for Red Bull, Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari, Esteban Ocon for Force India, Lance Stroll for Williams, Stoffel Vandoorne for McLaren, Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso, Kevin Magnussen for Haas and Jolyon Palmer for Renault. The injured Pascal Wehrlein was replaced by Antonio Giovinazzi at Sauber, while Lewis Hamilton took the Mercedes out for the morning and Valtteri Bottas took over in the afternoon.
Kimi Raikkonen and Lance Stroll were the first drivers out on the second day of pre-season testing. Stroll became the early pace-setter for Williams but also caused the first red flag of the day, forty minutes into the session, as he had a spin at Turn Nine. He was able to get the car moving again and returned to the pits with damaged tyres and dirt under the floor of the FW40. Stroll’s day was cut short by the incident, with Williams unable to run again due to a lack of spare front wing parts. The Canadian completed twelve laps.
Just six minutes in to the session, McLaren’s problems from yesterday seemed to persist as Stoffel Vandoorne came to a halt at the pit entry. He was back out again within half an hour.
Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes was raising eyebrows. The now fin-less W08 had an intriguingly revised two-layered T-wing.
Esteban Ocon’s day got off to a slow start as the Force India mechanics continued to fix the exhaust issue which had put an early end to Sergio Perez’s running yesterday. Also having a slow start to the day were Haas and Sauber. Kevin Magnussen had completed five laps after two hours, while Antonio Giovinazzi was on just two. Giovinazzi was confined to the garage after a power unit issue saw the Sauber’s Ferrari engine needing to be changed.
Meanwhile, within three hours, Vandoorne completed more laps than Fernando Alonso did throughout the whole day yesterday but was later halted as the team needed to change his Honda power unit. Renault were yet to get a lap on the board, with the team still working on overnight changes before Jolyon Palmer would get a chance to drive the RS17.
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) February 28, 2017
Max Verstappen also encountered some issues in his RB13. He went out and came back in after just two laps, claiming that he was ‘losing speed on the straight’.
Fifteen minutes before the lunch break, Lewis Hamilton set a new fastest lap of testing so far – a 1:20.983 – with the first appearance of the super-soft tyres. The red flag was brought out soon after as Force India’s Esteban Ocon came to a halt at Turn Ten. The morning session was extended by five minutes to make up for the red flag period. The extra five minutes allowed Jolyon Palmer to put in an installation lap, while Antonio Giovinazzi recorded his first timed lap of the day for Sauber. Hamilton completed the most laps in the morning session at 66 – a full race distance.
Ocon's Force India is being recovered. As it came out of Turn 9 a puff of smoke came from the rear and he stopped at Turn 10. Smelt bad too. pic.twitter.com/PmuyioWw9b
— Laurence Edmondson (@Edmondson_F1) February 28, 2017
After a troubled morning session, Sauber were the first team back out of the pits in the afternoon. The red flag was brought out while Giovinazzi was on his outlap. The Italian driver made it back to the pits under his own steam however, so he must have had a small off which brought out the red flags very briefly.
“It was a positive day for me, despite the issues we had in the morning. In the afternoon I was able to get up to speed running a good amount of laps. I want to thank the Sauber F1 Team again for this opportunity. Now I am looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow.” – Antonio Giovinazzi
Kimi Raikkonen, who was apparently feeling under the weather today, became the new pace-setter on soft tyres, lapping at 0.023 seconds quicker than Hamilton’s earlier time on the super-softs. Stoffel Vandoorne was finally able to get back out after his earlier issues with an hour of the session remaining. Valtteri Bottas completed a marathon of 80 laps when he took over from Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes for the afternoon session. He had a major moment on one of his laps though, and was lucky to escape without damaging the car.
8️⃣0️⃣ laps this afternoon 👏🏻
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 28, 2017
In the end, Mercedes did the most laps by far – a combined total of 168 laps between Hamilton and Bottas – while Ferrari and Haas also ran over a century of laps.
FULL RESULT FROM DAY 2 OF WINTER TESTING: