Sebastian Vettel has kept himself and Ferrari atop the lap charts in Jerez overnight, going fastest (1:20.984) for the second day running. The four-time champ knows it’s far too early to get excited about his season’s prospects yet, but admits “we have a good basis to work from.”
Inclement weather late in the day interrupted proceedings although some teams did get some testing done on intermediate tyres.
Before the rain set in Sauber also showed it’s relative pace on day 1 was no fluke, with rookie Felipe Nasr (1:21.867) posting the second best time during his first day as a bona fide F1 driver. Around half a second back was Valtteri Bottas (1:22.319) for Williams in the first of the Mercedes powered cars.
Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his first day out for Mercedes AMG in 2015, racking up 91 laps, more than anyone else and laying down the fourth quickest time of the day (1:22.490).
The baby of the bunch, 17-year-old Max Verstappen, managed 73 useful laps for Toro Rosso and was fifth fastest (1:24.167). In its track debut with the Mercedes power unit Lotus notched up 41 laps with Pastor Maldonado at the wheel. His best time (1:25.802) was the last of the meaningful laps with Jenson Button (1:54.655) and Daniil Kvyat (No time) having difficult days.
McLaren hopes to have a better day tomorrow with Yasuhisa Arai, Honda’s chief motorsport officer, telling journalists, “Today was another tricky day, but we feel like we’ve overcome the main issue that affected our running during the first two days of the test. For tomorrow, we’re hopeful that we’ve moved on, and that we can get some more laps completed.”
Meanwhile, Daniil Kyvat’s Red Bull career got off to an embarrassing start when he clipped a wall on his out lap and broke the front wing. At this early stage of the year the team did not have a replacement readily available and he had to make do testing other aspects of the car.
Red Bull will have a replacement wing ready for day 3 of testing which begins late tonight (Australian time).
Unofficial testing times from Jerez (Day 2):
1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari – 1:20.984 (88 laps)
2. Felipe Nasr, Sauber – 1:21.867 (89 laps)
3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams – 1:22.319 (61 laps)
4. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 1:22.490 (91 laps)
5. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso – 1:24.167 (73 laps)
6. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus – 1:25.802 (41 laps)
7. Jenson Button, McLaren – 1:54.655 (6 laps)
8. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull – No time (18 laps)