Valtteri Bottas Fastest ahead of Hamilton in Barcelona Test 2
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News March 02, 2016
Photo: Williams F1
Valtteri Bottas topped preseason testing for Williams ahead of Mercedes F1 driver Lewis “The Jedi Knight” Hamilton on Wednesday. Bottas, who was 0.361 seconds quicker than Hamilton used super-softs while Hamilton used softs in cooler morning conditions.
Renault F1 driver, Kevin Magnussen was third fastest and put the hammer down for Renault, while Sebastian Vettel was fourth and completed 151 laps which made a very good day for Ferrari.
Williams is showing great consistency, with Bottas having been second-fastest on Tuesday behind Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.
Nico Rosberg was only ninth fastest, but Rosberg was running a race simulation and was primarily using medium tires.
Neither of the Mercedes drivers joined the 100 club Rosberg did 91 laps and Hamilton 73, a big difference from last week when they racked up 675 laps between them in the first preseason test.
"What the team has done this year already for the miles we've done is super-motivating," Hamilton said. "Every single person is going to hype us up. But you really don't know what fuel load Ferrari is on; they have a strong package. Even Williams looks like it has quite a strong package."
Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz led the day in terms of longevity with 166 laps to underline how reliable the car is.
“What a wonderful day for myself and the whole team! It was a trouble-free one and we managed to run through the planned programme. I’m very happy. Everything is feeling great and I feel better in the car every day that goes by, which is promising. I’m also very pleased to have completed a further 166 laps today, it shows once again that the car is reliable and it gives us confidence before the start of the season.” Sainz said.
McLaren-Honda, enjoyed a stress-free day as veteran British driver Jenson Button posted 121 laps along with the fifth fastest time.
"This is obviously what we work for at McLaren, to have the best chassis," McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said. "We're happy if we can achieve this; it means McLaren is back on track."
However, there was one red flag of the day as Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson went off into the gravel on turn 4 and lost a wheel on his car, still managing 55 laps.
Haas F1 had a bit of a frustrating day, as Esteban Gutierrez went out for one installation lap and came straight back in, due to a problem with the turbocharger.
“As you can imagine, today has been a bit frustrating. However, we’re working really well as a team to resolve the situation. Testing is about solving these issues ahead of the first race. The team has been doing a great job working very closely together, preparing the car day and night. I’m confident we’ll have a positive outcome for the rest of the test.”
Teammate Romain Grosjean was scheduled to drive on Thursday and Friday but Gutierrez may now be given some extra time behind the wheel after logging in only 23 laps. Test #2 Wednesday results: 1. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:23.261, 108 laps 2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:23.622, 73 laps 3. Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 1:23.933,, 126 laps 4. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:24.611, 151 laps 5. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:25.183, 121 laps 6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:25.235, 135 laps 7. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:25.300, 166 laps 8. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:26.188, 128 laps 9. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:26.298, 91 laps; 10. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 1:27.064, 79 laps 11. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:27.862, 55 laps 12. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, No time, 1 lap