Nico Rosberg has left Mercedes with plenty of encouragement for the upcoming season by keeping the team on top of the timesheets for the second consecutive day in testing – Hamilton taking top honours on Saturday’s test. Rosberg’s 1.20.130 was four-tenths quicker than Lewis’ lap time the day previous – made even more impressive as it beats Hamilton’s pole lap time at the same circuit in 2012.
Right behind Rosberg was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who was three-tenths off Rosberg’s best lap. The Spaniard ran a noble 120 laps throughout the day which left him a second clear of nearest car Jenson Button in third. Button himself ran 122 laps in the MP4-28 and will be looking forward to the upcoming Australian Grand Prix where he has won three of the last four races.
In Fourth overall was Nico Hulkenberg who took his Sauber for 118 laps of Catalunya. Nico was close to the McLaren, indeed just a tenth shy of Button’s best time, but the German’s afternoon running was cut short when technical woes ground the Sauber to a halt. Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen was back in the car having suffered from food poisoning on the Saturday which gave Romain Grosjean and Lotus test driver Davide Valsecchi a chance for some extra running in place of the Finn. Having missed the entire Saturday session, Raikkonen’s Sunday session was a short one, clocking 50 laps, most of which were in the afternoon session while a gearbox issue blighted the team in the Morning.
Paul di Resta completed more than twice the Finn’s final tally and at the end of the day was mere thousands of a second behind Raikkonen, Di Resta’s 1.21.664 beaten by Raikkonen’s 1.21.658. William’s opted to split their drivers track time again, giving Maldonado the morning session and Bottas the afternoon drive. Maldonado’s 42 laps amounted to a best time of 1.22.415 which beat Bottas’ fastest lap of 1.22.524. Maldonado in 7th and Bottas in 9th were split by reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel who clocked exactly 100 laps. The German set a 1.22.514 in the morning session which would turn out to be his fastest time as Red Bull opted to focus on testing upgrades in the afternoon.
Caterham completed 116 laps at the hands of Frenchman Charles Pic and this securely planted them in 10th place, ahead of Toro Rosso and rivals Marussia. Jules Bianchi was the leading Marussia for the second day in a row, despite Max Chilton having two weeks extra track time than Bianchi. Bianchi’s 62 laps put him 11th while Chilton’s 49 put him 13th and bottom of the standings. In 12th was the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo who was 3.5 seconds behind Rosberg’s time, following 90 laps.
The next times the cars go onto a green track is FP1 in Melbourne, now less than two weeks away.
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