Barcelona Day 2: Vettel fastest again
19 February, 2011
Feb.19 (PVM) Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull Racing RB7 was quickest of all at the end of the second day of testing at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
The reigning world champion had a busy day running qualifying style flying laps early on, followed by longer stints later in the day and also gave his crew pitstop practice The team attempted a race distance which was interrupted by a red flag, and thereafter lost some time in the pit garage.
Nevertheless Vettel racked up 104 laps during the course of the day and his time of 1 minute 23.315 seconds was over a second faster than his best a day earlier. His performance over the past few days will no doubt have impacted on his rivals. Red Bull are very serious contenders again.
It was a good day for the energy drinks backed teams as local hero Jaime Alguersuari continued to show impressive pace in the Toro Rosso STR6, ending the day second fastest and best Ferrari powered driver. He managed 96 laps and his best lap time was only fractionally off Vettel’s best.
Ferrari had one of their most problem packed day since the birth of the F150th Italia with Fernando Alonso at the wheel. The Maranello squad less mileage than in previous sessions due to a number of electrical and mechanical niggles which started early in the day and caused the first stoppage half an hour into the day’s session.
The team admitted not completing their planned programme for the day, although the Spaniard did have 90 laps to his credit and the third best time of the day, over a half a second off Vettel’s best which he set in a late flurry of fast laps.
In contrast to his former team, Rubens Barrichello racked up 117 laps and ended the day fourth fastest in what must be the team’s most hassle free day since testing began.
After a troubled opening day, with time consuming KERS issues, Renault managed to do some meaningful mileage with the R31 in the hands of both Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov.
The Russian was given time in the morning, to compensate for lost running the previous day, with Heidfeld in the cockpit in the afternoon. Heidfeld ended fifth fastest with 41 laps credited, with Petrov managing 61 tours and the 11th best time.
Kamui Kobayashi began his day with long stints in the Sauber C30, followed by some quick runs in the afternoon which saw him set the sixth best time and rack up 125 problem free laps.
Also starting his day with long runs was Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes MGPW02 which showed good consistency and did 131 laps in the process. But unless the German was sandbagging outright pace seems to be lacking in the Silver Arrow. Rosberg was seventh best and fastest of the Mercedes powered brigade.
McLaren’s lacklustre start to the season continues prompting the question: Has the late launch of the MP4-26 come back to haunt the Woking squad? During the course of the second day Jenson Button only managed 54 laps on route to setting the eighth best time after losing substantial track time in the morning due to hydraulic problems.
Paul di Resta ran strongly throughout the morning but had an off in the afternoon which saw him lose track time. He ended ninth best with 80 laps counted.
Lotus ran Heikki Kovalainen for most of the day, the Finn ending 10th fastest with 58 laps on the lap chart before handing over to Angolan driver Ricardo Teixeira. He was given an hour to impress the powers that be but was by far the slowest of all.
Also being “watched” was Vitantonio Liuzzi who was given time in the HRT and is reportedly one of the prime candidates for the seat alongside Narain Karthikeyan. The former Force India driver ended 12th fastest with 70 laps to his name.
Slowest of the regulars was Timo Glock in the Virgin VR-02 who spent most of the early morning doing very short runs as the team waited for spares to get their day going in earnest. The German only managed 26 laps during the eight hours.
Barcelona Day 2 – Best Lap Times
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull RB7||1.23.315||—||104|
|2||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso STR6||1.23.519||+0.204||96|
|3||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F150th||1:23.978||+0.663||90|
|4||Rubens Barrichello||Williams FW33||1.24.008||+0.693||117|
|5||Nick Heidfeld||Renault R31||1.24.242||+0.927||41|
|6||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber C30||1:24.243||+0.928||125|
|7||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes MGPW02||1.24.730||+1.415||131|
|8||Jenson Button||McLaren MP4-25||1.24.923||+1.608||54|
|9||Paul Di Resta||Force India VJM04||1.25.194||+1.879||80|
|10||Heikki Kovalainen||Team Lotus T128||1.26.421||+3.106||58|
|11||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R31||1.26.884||+3.569||61|
|12||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT F1||1:27.044||+3.729||70|
|13||Timo Glock||Virgin MVR-01||1.27.242||+3.927||66|
|14||Ricardo Teixeira||Team Lotus T128||1.31.584||+8.269||26|