Sebastian Vettel tops day one of winter testing week two
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News March 6, 2018 Updated: 4:31 PM PT
MONTMELO, Spain — Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel took the top spot on the first day of the second week of pre-season winter testing.
Vettel set a time of 1:20.396 in the morning and racked up a hefty amount of mileage with 171 laps. Valtteri Bottas ended the day second racking up 86 laps in the morning and was 0.200s behind Vettel.
“We managed to get through our program, even if the conditions weren’t always ideal, because of the wind,” said Vettel.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third, but the day did not go completely smooth for the young Dutch driver as he ran into a technical issue during the afternoon session.
“It was a good day today. We did a lot of laps and that’s really important, just to put mileage up on the car,” said Verstappen. “We had a small problem with the battery late in the day, so we had to change that and it takes a bit of time, but afterwards it was all good. The car feels good. Everyone of course wants to know where we think we are in relation to our opposition but honestly it’s impossible to tell until we get to Australia, as you don’t know what everyone else is doing.
Verstappen ended the day with 130 laps with teammate Daniel Ricciardo set to take over testing duties tomorrow. Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after taking the afternoon to run though the second half of the team’s run program and laying down 91 laps to give the team a total of 177 at the end of the day.
“The biggest challenge we faced today was to get the tyres working properly on this new track surface. The medium tyre was difficult to get working; the soft tyre is better for warm-up, but suffered with degradation. But we are learning all the time.
Overall it’s been a good start to the second test although there is not a whole lot to say at this moment. We have not worked too much on fine-tuning the set-up as we’re mostly still gathering information. In the next couple of days, once we get into the long-runs and some shorter qualifying-style runs, we will get a better idea of where the car is,” said Hamilton.
After putting in 147 laps at the end of the first week of testing, Pierre Gasly finished fifth and stayed out longer than expected after the team ran into a technical issue during the session forcing the day to come to an end with just 54 laps. Kevin Magnussen finished sixth with 96 laps while Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg ended the day in seventh.
Hulkenberg’s teammate Carlos Sainz took over in the afternoon finishing eighth and laying down a healthy chunk of mileage with 91 laps logged in.
Sergey Sirotkin finished ninth with 42 laps in the books for Williams while Sergio Perez finished tenth. Marcus Ericsson gave Sauber a productive day as Ericsson finished 11th and posted 120 laps.
McLaren did not have a joyous start to the week as the team’s day was plagued with multiple technical issues. Stoffel Vandoorne finished 12th with only 38 laps logged in.
“Today wasn’t the day we had hoped for on track, but, despite this, we aren’t overly concerned about the issues that we’ve faced today.
“It’s obviously not the productive day we had planned, but the problems – a battery issue and a hydraulic leak – are the types of niggles that we almost hope and expect to face during testing, in order to prepare us properly for the season ahead.
“We are here to test, and today is what sometimes happens in testing. It’s not ideal, and we would have liked more track time, but we’re working on it, we’re learning from it, and we’ll return to the track tomorrow armed with more information,” said Racing Director Eric Boullier.
Taking over for his teammate, Sergey Sirotkin, Lance Stroll may have ended the day 13th, but he delivered some good mileage with 86 laps posted.
Pre-Season Test 2, Day 1
1. Vettel, Ferrari, 1:20.396, 171 laps
2. Bottas, Mercedes, 1:20.596, 86 laps
3. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:20.649,130 laps
4. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:20.808, 91 laps
5. Gasly, Toro Rosso, 1:20.973, 54 laps
6. Magnussen, Haas, 1:21.298, 96 laps
7. Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:21.432, 48 laps
8. Sainz, Renault, 1:21.455, 91 laps
9. Sirotkin, Williams, 1:21.588, 42 laps
10. Perez, Force India, 1:21.643, 93 laps
11. Ericsson, Sauber, 1:21.706, 120 laps
12. Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:21.946, 38 laps
13. Stroll, Williams, 1:22.937, 86 laps