Pre-season Test: Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel tops second day of winter test
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News February 27, 2018 Updated: 3:09 PM PT
MONTMELO, Spain -- As the cold winter continues to set in on the Barcelona Circuit, many teams struggled with grip dealing with cold damp conditions.
Sebastian Vettel set a time of 1:19.673, just 0.303s ahead of Valtteri Bottas in second place who stayed out the remainder of the day in an effort to capitalize on the warmer temperatures.
“The important thing today wasn’t the lap time, but the fact that, in these conditions, we managed to cover almost a hundred laps without encountering any reliability problems. That’s what we are concentrating on at the moment, with the search for performance coming later. From an operational point of view, everything went smoothly and I’d say the car is working,” said Vettel.
While having an opportunity to try out the new Pirelli pink banded Hyper soft tire, McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne finished third but was sidelined for most of the afternoon after the team discovered a issue with the car’s exhaust system.
With a productive first day on Monday, Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen ran into some trouble after a fuel leak was discovered during his time out. Verstappen ended the day fourth with 67 laps logged in.
“My first feeling of the car is positive,” said Verstappen. “Of course it’s early days but the initial feeling is good. In the end I don’t think we lost too much ground in the morning as the track seemed in pretty poor condition early on.
Carlos Sainz racked up 65 laps finishing fifth as Renault followed suit, but Mercedes chose to keep Sainz out the entire day.
Pierre Gasly gave Toro Rosso another productive day as they begin this season with their new engine supplier Honda. Gasly logged in a good chunk of mileage as the young Frenchman ended the day with 82 laps on the soft tire.
Robert Kubica, who returns to F1 this season with Williams as their reserve driver, finished seventh and 0.327s ahead Sergey Sirotkin in eighth. Both drivers ran on the soft tire with Sirotkin nabbing four more laps than Kubica.
Esteban Ocon enjoyed a healthy 79 laps around the Circuit de Barcelona finishing ninth. Formula One rookie Charles Leclerc finished tenth and logged in 79 laps for Sauber but not before taking two trips into the gravel at turn 4.
Kevin Magnussen also took a trip thru the gravel at turn 4, nearly missing the wall during the
session. Magnussen finished 11th with only 36 lap logged in.
Pre-Season Test 1, Day 2
1. Vettel, Ferrari, 1:19.673, 98 laps
2. Bottas, Mercedes, 1:19.976, 94 laps
3. Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:20.325, 37 laps
4. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:21.236, 67 laps
5. Sainz, Renault, 1:21.212, 65 laps
6. Gasly, Toro Rosso, 1:21.318, 82 laps
7. Kubica, Williams, 1:21.495, 48 laps
8. Sirotkin, Williams, 1:21.822, 52 laps
9. Ocon, Force India, 1:21.841, 79 laps
10. Leclerc, Sauber, 1:22.721, 81 laps
11. Magnussen, Haas, 1.22.727, 36 laps