This page will be updated throughout the morning session
9am – 10am
The second Formula One winter test in Barcelona began under clear skies and an ambient temperature of just over 1 degree.
Unlike Jerez, Barcelona is a current Formula One circuit and so by the end of this test, we should have some kind of idea as to the relative pace of the teams and drivers, though it will be a week on Sunday by the time we can hone this into more accurate predictions.
5 minutes into the session, every one other than Jenson Button obliged the fans of the ‘roaring tiger’ by putting in an appearance.
The team with the second least running in Jerez were no where to be seen, then on 27 minutes, Ricciardo came out for a couple of laps trundle until everyone’s favorite disruptor of proceedings – Maldonado – stopped on track and bought out the red flag.
Ted Kravitz perpetuates the debate which began in Jerez. The consensus is that the cars sound louder this year. “There’s no technical reason why they should sound louder this year”, say Kravitz. “But they do sound a bit louder. People thought in Jerez that it was just the acoustics there that were making the cars sound louder but they do sound louder here too.”
TJ13’s opinion on the matter is that the cars are not any louder, having seen the sound data recorded in Jerez by a Spanish journalist. The noise levels are just over a hundred decibels – which is comparable to last season.
However, the engines have a better defined tone this year – less whistles and whoishing going on – more like a racing engine should sound. Despite denials in Jerez, I suspect this is something Andy Cowell probably knowns something about, but they are being cagey not wanting to give too much away.
48 minutes into the session and the McLaren Honda is running well. Lap times early doors in the cold were around 2 minutes. Jenson traded fastest laps with old adversary Lewis Hamilton, ending his stint with a time of 1:31:984.
Lotus report they have had a sensor failure on Maldonado’s car – these things strangely can be pretty time consuming to sort out”.
As the first hour concluded, Kimi Raikkonen goes quickest with a time just over 1 minute 30 seconds, set on the hard compound too.
Five minutes into the second hour and with the track temperature just under 7 degrees, Raikkonen improves the quickest time of the day to a 1:27.523 on the hard compound tyre. The fastest lap of the race here in 2014 was over 1:28, so the cars will be much much quicker this year.
Sauber have improved slightly their rather simple primary coloured livery from 2 weeks ago. Felipe Nasr has a swoosh of yellow around the nose of the car with flashes of the same colour in one or two other places.
With 90 minutes gone, the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado once again appears on track and promptly stops at turn five again. Red Flag out, session stopped.
Then a huge disappointment for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton who ran over 100 laps less than Rosberg in Jerez
“10:49 Lewis Hamilton will not continue for Mercedes today:
“An unplanned stoppage keeping us off track at the moment. @LewisHamilton is unwell and not able to continue driving today…,” the team reveals on Twitter.
“… so we’re just adjusting the car for Pascal #Wehrlein to take to the track this afternoon. #MusicalChairs”
It transpires that Lewis Hamilton is not feeling well, so Mercedes have purloined Wehrlein from Force India. The Silverstone team tweeted, “Mind if we use him a little bit more,
@MercedesAMGF1? We are just about to go for a run… #FeelTheForce”
Apparently, Lewis woke up this morning with a fever. So why was he asked to drive? And and why isn’t Nico Rosberg being called up instead of Mercedes disrupting Force India’s day?
Unlike some drivers who arrive on day one when they are not in the car, Rosberg is definitely here – and suited and booted.
Paddy Lowe answers these questions for the media. “For the programme we have for today, it is better to use a test driver. It’s a tough programme and we don’t want to over-use Nico Rosberg”.
Seeing as Lewis has had the worst running during testing thus far, it looks as though Mercedes don’t want Rosberg to rack up another 100 laps more than Hamilton – hence the deviation from their plan.
1. Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:28.064, 25 laps; 2. Button, McLaren, 1:28.182, 14 laps; 3. Nasr, Sauber, 1:29.276, laps 18; 4. Wehrlein, Force India, 1:29.510, 10 laps; 5. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:30.429, 11 laps; 6. Wolff, Williams, 1:31.207, 11 laps; 7. Verstappen, 1:46.118, 13 laps; 8. Maldonado, Lotus, 1:51.454, 6 laps; 9. Ricciardo, Red Bull, No time, 4 laps.After what is something of a drama at Mercedes, we move into the third hour of today’s test.
Of interest was that prior to Hamilton’s withdrawal from proceedings, Mercedes were being very careful to shroud the rear end of the car each time Lewis came into the pit lane.
For some reason unbeknown to us, Kimi’s quickest time has been scratched off – probably because he missed the chicane towards the end of the lap. This leaves Jenson fastest, though the Ferrari reclaims top spot quickly with a 1:28.064.
Suzie Wolff for Williams has been quietly about her business and has racked up 21 laps after 2 hours, though is at present several seconds off the top of the sheet. Just short of three hours, Suzie becomes the first driver to complete 200km.
The Red Bull livery is working well, because we are not seeing them on track at all this morning. Just 2 laps and no time for Ricciardo.
Sauber now prove that Jerez was no fluke as Felipe Nasr jumps to the top of the time sheets with a 1:27.522 on the unmarked tyre. At the same time Pastor Maldonado makes it back on track and this time through turn 5 and onto a second lap. Lotus mechanics are looking delighted. That said the E23 is 8 seconds off the pace at present.
Almost 2 and a half hours into the session, the track is now just shy of 25 degrees. If the teams want to push for lap times, the next 2 hours of running will be the sweet spot in terms of temperature, before they begin falling again towards the close of the day.
The Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo is now on track, but not setting any lap times. He’s up to eight laps just after the half hour – but the car looks slow. Then its back into the pits and Ricciardo dashes across to the Red Bull mini ice station hospitality area – though there’s little point grabbing an early bite to eat as unlike Jerez when the running continues all day – here in Barcelona, the circuit shuts down for an hour over lunch.
News is coming through from Germany, that Stefano Dominicali did indeed prepare a feasibility study to examine the options for Audi to enter F1. However, the top brass have apparently decided it is not the sporting platform for them.
As the third hour comes to a close, TJ13 is hearing Red Bull are again having problems with their power unit.
Force India announce hey have managed to lay their hands on Sergio Perez and he will take over from the kidnapped Wehrlein
Wolff has currently banked 50 laps
Nasr 38, Verstappen 33, Raikkonen 29, Maldonado 29, Wehrlein 26, Button 21, Hamilton 11, Ricciardo 8.
The tale of the hour before lunch was of Red Bull finally getting up and running. Apparently the slow trundle of Ricciardo’s first 8 laps was not power unit problems – according to Red Bull as they tweeted: “A few valuable aero runs completed after morning teething problems. Daniel heads out for a pre-lunch stint”.
Anyway…. it was a good stint from a time perspective and Ricciardo’s second flying lap took him second fastest of the day and he continued on to complete a relatively respectable 17 laps this morning
Conversely, McLaren announced just before the hour was up that their running for the day was over. Honda have a problem with a faulty seal on the MGU-K which requires an engine change. Just 21 more laps for the reborn partnership between Honda and McLaren.
Having racked up more laps than anyone else thus far, Suzie Wolff looked well off the pace of the rest. She switched to the medium tyre and set off on another run. Suddenly her times were under 1:30:00 as she slowly built pace finishing with a 1:29:400. This was still the slowest time of the morning except for that of Hamilton’s which was set early doors in the colder weather.
Still with 77 laps under her belt which was more than anyone else – Suzie avoided the rookie error of Daniel Kvyat – kept it on the black stuff and Williams have some achieved some valuable data collecting.
After stopping twice on track in the first two hours, Pastor Maldonado also managed to get some mileage under his belt and challenged for the top of the time sheets, though he ended up third overall.
The Ferrari was conspicuous by its absence in this period before lunch but the two rookies Verstappen and Nasr were duking it out at the top of the time sheets for latter part of the session. Felipe Nasr came out on top and Ricciardo and Maldonado eclipsed Verstappen late on.
With 9 minutes of the session left, Lewis Hamilton’s replacement emerged from the pit lane in the Mercedes car. Unusually the time sheets display 2 different times for one driver. Pascal Wehrlein is credited for his best time in both the Force India and Mercedes cars.
There was no winter testing her last year, as the teams elected to go to the sun in the Bahrain. So to give the times some perspective, Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time in Barcelona 2014 was 1:25:232. This is morning one of the second test. It is probable we will see that pole time eclipsed by the time the teams are packing up and getting ready for Australia.
- Nasr, Sauber, 1:27.307, 53 laps
- Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:27.363, 17 laps
- Maldonado, Lotus, 1:27.510, 43 laps
- Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1:27.951, 35 laps
- Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:28.064, 29 laps
- Button, McLaren, 1:28.182, 21 laps
- Wehrlein, Force India, 1:28.329, 32 laps
- Wehrlein, Mercedes, 1m29.286, 5 laps
- Wolff, Williams, 1:29.400, 77 laps
- Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:30.429, 11 laps.