Barcelona Test 2 Day 2: Sainz Jr. ends day on top

Carlos Sainz Jr.
Carlos Sainz Jr.

Carlos Sainz Jr. gave McLaren something to brag about – back-to-back days at the top of the timesheets in the second Formula 1 pre-season test as Ferrari hit problems for the 2nd day in a row.

The Spaniard posted the fastest time seen so far in testing on the morning of the second day of the second winter test in Barcelona and remained fastest when his 1m17.144 benchmark went unchallenged in the afternoon.

After a cooling system issue had limited Charles Leclerc’s track running on Tuesday, further issues occurred on Wednesday morning as a mechanical failure sent Vettel into the Turn 3 barriers

Ferrari initially confirmed the SF90 would not be seen for "several hours" and Vettel said the damage made finding the cause of the crash all the more difficult.

Speaking to reporters during his debrief after the morning stint in the car, Vettel explained, “I was going into Turn 3 and then, by the feeling, there was an issue with the front left corner. From there, there wasn’t anything I could have done to avoid the impact."

“After that I wasn’t in control anymore and I went straight into the barriers. We are flat-out trying to understand. It would be a lot easier if there was a lot of run-off and the car didn’t hit anything right after."

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel

“We have to be careful understanding what is the problem and that is what everyone is working on both here at the track and in Maranello."

The Italian team then spent the majority of the afternoon conducting what it called "thorough checks" before Charles Leclerc got out to undertake just a single installation lap.

Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen moved fourth inside the last hour with a 1m18.209s effort on the C4 compound on his way to a total of 113 laps.

Romain Grosjean completed over 100 laps on his way to the fifth-best time, with the Frenchman finding gains on a fresh set of C5 tires late on. If that is the best they can do on C5 tires they are seriously in trouble

A spin heading into the final complex of corners disrupted Max Verstappen’s running. The Dutchman was able to escape the gravel and seek refuge in the pitlane, before re-emerging in the closing stages on his way to sixth.

Seventh place went the way of Daniil Kvyat, with the Toro Rosso driver heading the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who totaled an impressive 176 laps between them as the reigning world champion outfit recovered from its lack of running on Tuesday afternoon.

Nico Hulkenberg took over driving duties from Renault teammate Daniel Ricciardo – who was last today – in the afternoon and exceeded a half-century of laps in 10th, while 11th-placed Robert Kubica completed 130 laps as Williams continued to play catch up following its delayed start to testing.



Valtteri Bottas
It was a positive day, we did 74 laps this morning, focusing on set-up work and making some good progress. There's a lot of data for us to go through tonight to further improve our set-up and make sure we come up with the optimal program for tomorrow. We learned a lot today and we will make sure to learn a lot again tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton
We got a lot of laps today which is a good thing, but we've come across a few little hurdles, so we're just working our way through them, trying to be as diligent as possible trying to understand the causes – which is exactly what testing is for. Everyone is working flat-out and I'm sure we will get there. You need days like this to be able to bring light to the things that we need to work on.

James Allison
We did set-up work in the morning with Valtteri and continued with this in the early afternoon with Lewis, yielding some good results for both drivers. The race run in the afternoon, although quite considerably quicker than the last race simulation we made, was marred by front graining – something which we think, looking up and down the pit lane, could be a feature of the year. We need to make progress on graining resistance in the next couple of days, in order to make sure we have a good way of handling it by the time the racing season begins.

Daniil Kvyat (Car 26):
“I would say we had a decent day of running, we ran some useful test items and got some good laps on the board. Of course, you always want to do a few more laps but we had a couple of small issues here and there, it wasn’t anything major, although the time adds up. In the end, it was a productive day and that’s the most important thing, we got to test many useful items so now we’ll focus on the next day of testing. You can’t look too much into the timesheets as everyone is on a different program of testing but I’m feeling quite comfortable with the car. We got through almost everything we wanted to test today and we have a lot of useful data that I’ll go through together with my engineers. I have one more day left in the car and we will make the most out of it before heading to Melbourne."

Jody Egginton (Deputy Technical Director):
“Dany took over driving duties today for the second day of test and he stepped through the standard block of aero tests early on, without any fuss or delay. As the temperature increased, we moved the setup forwards as planned and also ticked off a number of background test items. In addition to the red flag, we unfortunately lost some track time later in the morning due to a couple of small issues which we now need to address for tomorrow. Having said this, we have increased our understanding of the car’s setup today and we are looking forward to applying this to the final two days of winter testing."

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director):
“This was the trickiest day of the six days of testing so far because, for various reasons, we did not get quite as much track time as we would have liked. Nevertheless, both our teams completed more than 100 laps and it was another day without major issues on PU side. We will now use the remaining two days of pre-season testing to complete our planned program prior to the first race."

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer:
It was another day of perfect winter testing weather and we had an ambitious program planned with Robert in the car. We had a trouble-free day and got through 130 laps to complete the entire program for the day. We made some progress following analysis of the car overnight, especially on the long runs, but there is a lot more to find. We have good data to analyse from today’s runs and so that will help give us further direction for another important day tomorrow.

Robert Kubica:
We had a good day from a gathering data point of view. Time is running out and from a driver point of view we haven’t done much work on the car so there is still a lot of things to discover and not much time before the first race. We are not in the position we would like to be from an engineering point of view, but I hope in the next few days we can start playing with the car and see how it reacts. We have to keep working and keep improving to put maximum effort in, and I hope we have a smooth start to the season now.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez: “It was a good day, even though we had a bit of a slow start. We had a couple of small issues here and there and the red flags didn’t help, but in the end we finished the day with plenty of information. We were able to finally try some long runs after being pretty limited on mileage last week. We got to try the softer compounds of the Pirelli range and I was happy about the grip they offer. I had a good feeling with them and I hope we get to use them often this season, because they should work well on the majority of tracks. I am looking forward to a good, trouble-free final day on the car on Friday, so that I can then prepare myself well before we head to Melbourne."

Tom McCullough, Performance Engineering Director: “It wasn’t the most straightforward morning: we struggled a bit with the balance of the car and the timing of stoppages on track, so we didn’t quite achieve all our test objectives before lunch. We were much more productive and able to make up lost time in the afternoon, however. We completed all the items we needed to evaluate and understand, and we focused on some long run data-gathering in preparation for the final two days of testing. Sergio got his first experience of the softest compounds and overall the car ran reliably, which is always a positive. We have a lot of information to process and plenty to understand, so there’s still a lot of work to do."

Kimi Raikkonen:
“We went through the planned program and made some more progress today. The team is motivated and working well together. I look forward to being back in the car on Friday for my last day of testing before we head out to the first race of the season."

Week 2 Day 2 Final Times

1 Sainz Jr. McLaren C4 1m17.144s 130
2 Perez Racing Point C4 1m17.842s 88
3 Vettel Ferrari C3 1m18.195s 40
4 Raikkonen Alfa Romeo C4 1m18.209s 113
5 Grosjean Haas C5 1m18.330s 120
6 Verstappen Red Bull C3 1m18.395s 128
7 Kvyat Toro Rosso C3 1m18.682s 101
8 Bottas Mercedes C3 1m18.941s 74
9 Hamilton Mercedes C3 1m18.943s 102
10 Hulkenberg Renault C3 1m19.056s 58
11 Kubica Williams C4 1m19.367s 130
12 Ricciardo Renault C2 1m22.597 72
13 Leclerc Ferrari C3 No Time 1

C1=Hardest Tires
C5=Softest Tire

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