Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel has topped the time sheets as the 2nd pre-sesaon tests begin. The Red Bull star completed 79 laps to achieve a top time of 1.23.265.
In 2nd place was Nico Hulkenburg in his return to F1 in a Force India. The German completed 97 laps which was enough to beat Lewis Hamilton in 3rd. The 2008 World Champion racked up 114 in his MP4-27 in which he achieved a best lap time of 1.23.590.
In 4th place was Daniel Ricciardo in an STR7. The Australian was happy with the day. “It was a good day with 76 laps under my belt,” said the Australian. “In the morning, apart from working on the overall development of the car, we were also getting ready for Melbourne, running through various procedures, working to a set time scale, as if it was a race weekend. That went well and in the afternoon, we did some race-type runs which were successful until the car stopped with just the final hour to go.”
Fernando Alonso was next in the ferrari. He completed 75 laps, one less than the man ahead of him and secured a 1.24.100 lap time.
Seven time world champion, Michael Schumacher was 6th in the MGP WO3. Throughout the day, he racked up just 51 laps and this earned him a 1.24.150 lap time, just off the Ferrari of Alonso.
In 7th place was Sergio Perez for Sauber. The mexican brought his car around 66 laps of Catalunya and at the end of the day, his best time was 1.24.219.
Bruno Senna in the Williams was next. He competed 97 laps during the day and brought the Willaims up to 8th out of 11 on the time sheets.
Heikki Kovalainen driving for Caterham followed Senna. Kovalainen completed just 31 laps in the CT-01.
“We had a rear track rod failure on Heikki’s third run this morning which brought him to a halt on track,” explained Caterham’s chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “As soon as we had the car back in the garage we identified the issue and managed to fix it on site, and we have more parts coming out tonight to make sure we don’t have the same problem again. We know that this car is fundamentally reliable, so the aim for the next three days is to complete the plan for this test and put ourselves back on schedule.”
Romain Grosjean completed 7 laps before a problem with the sidepods caused Lotus to abandon the week of testing.
In 11th was Charles Pic with 121 laps.
Hispania did not have a car at the track as they still have not passed the crash test.
1. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:23.265, 79 Laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:23.440, 97 Laps
3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:23.590, 114 Laps
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, 1:23.618, 76 Laps
5. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1:24.100, 75 Laps
6. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, 1:24.150, 51 Laps
7. Sergio Perez, Sauber, 1:24.219, 66 Laps
8. Bruno Senna, Williams, 1:25.711, 97 Laps
9. Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham, 1:26.035, 31 Laps
10. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1: 26.809s, 7 Laps
11. Charles Pic, Marussia*, 1:28.026, 121 Laps