Sebastian Vettel kept Ferrari at the top of the timesheets in Jerez today, lowering his day one benchmark by almost two seconds and logging more than 80 laps as Ferrari continued to look strong on day of pre-season testing ahead of the 2015 Formula One campaign.
Vettel was fast out of the blocks, setting a test best time of 1:21.926 an hour into the session to climb to the top of the top of the timesheet. And there he stayed. The German continued to improve and soon after posted a lap of 1:20.984, which would remain the day’s fastest time.
For a second day running next best on the time sheet went to the Ferrari powered Sauber with rookie Felipe Nasr getting to within nine tenths of Vettel’s benchmark. The Brazilian driver also competed 88 laps for the Swiss outfit.
After a slow start to the first morning of testing yesterday Williams were on track early on day two and after posting 73 laps on Sunday afternoon Valtteri Bottas added another 61 to his tally on day two, ending the day with the third fastest time, a lap of 1:22.319.
On day one of the test Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg reminded rivals of just why Mercedes are still the team to beat by delivering 157 trouble free laps of the Curcuit de Jerez. Lewis Hamilton didn’t get near that total as an afternoon water leak on his car cut short his running, but his 91 laps still represented the day’s largest total. He finished the session in fourth spot with a time of 1:22.490, 1.5s adrift of Vettel’s best time.
At Toro Rosso, 17-year-old Max Verstappen took from Carlos Sainz Jr at the wheel of the STR10 and Formula One’s youngest driver logged a decent total of 73 laps to finish fifth on the timesheet.
After missing the first day due to the late arrival of its new car, Lotus completed the build of the E23 overnight and after a cautious start Pastor Maldonado was able to complete 41 laps, the Venezuelan running progressively faster throughout the day. A drive-train issue in the afternoon ending his outing, however.
He was followed on the timesheet by McLaren’s Jenson Button who matched team-mate Fernando Alonso’s day one total of six laps. With the team still exploring the functionality of its Honda power unit, Button only managed one tikmed lap, some 33 seconds off the pace.
After a solid start yesterday, Red Bull Racing hit problems early on day two. New recruit Daniil Kvyat suffered a minor off right at the start of the team’s running and damaged the front wing of his RB11. With no replacement wing at the circuit the team was restricted to single-lap untimed runs as they worked through systems checks. Kvyat put in 18 slow laps all day and failed to set a time.
A late rain shower disrupted the final half an hour of the session and only Verstappen, Vettel, Nasr and Button tested the wet conditions before the session ended.
Testing continues for a third day, on Tuesday at Jerez.