Rosberg tops final day as Ricciardo causes red flag

© XPB 

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg clocked the fastest time on day two of the final in-season test, as Daniel Ricciardo caused a late-session red flag in Austria when he had to stop his Red Bull on pit entry.

After yesterday’s rain-hit session, F1 teams enjoyed much better weather and trouble-free running at the Red Bull Ring, with only Williams failing to break the 100-lap barrier on Wednesday.

Rosberg initially carried out some aero work in the W06 Hybrid before upping the pace in the late morning and early afternoon. His table-topping effort of 1:09.113 allowed the German to go more than eight tenths faster than second-placed Esteban Gutierrez.

It was a tighter affair behind the Ferrari test driver - who had an excursion through the gravel but avoided damage - with only 0.322s covering the next three cars. Despite topping the morning session, Williams' Valtteri Bottas had the lowest number of laps among all the drivers in action on day two with 79. Bottas' lap total was restricted by a major set-up change over the lunch break following aero tests in the morning, and he slipped down to third place at the chequered flag.

The one new face on the second day of testing was reigning DTM champion Marco Wittmann, who finished a strong fourth on his first outing in an F1 car. Testing for Toro Rosso as a reward for his title success, the 25-year-old also got significant mileage under his belt as he racked up a mammoth 158 laps.

Tuesday's pace setter Pascal Wehrlein switched to the partially upgraded Force India - sporting its innovative nose for a longer spell of running - to claim fifth ahead of Jolyon Palmer, who carried out aero and setup work for Silverstone in the Lotus E23, but ensured the session ended under red flags after stopping with two minutes remaining,

Fernando Alonso finally got significant mileage in the upgraded McLaren-Honda after his Austrian Grand Prix was prematurely ended by a "scary" crash with Kimi Raikkonen. The Spaniard sampled several new aero components on the MP4-30 and was able to complete 103 laps as the Honda power unit ran reliably.

Prior to causing the late red flag, Ricciardo had been having a productive day behind the wheel of the Renault-powered Red Bull. The Australian managed to get back out in the closing stages to rack up 116 laps with a best time of 1:10.757.

Bottom of the time sheets went Felipe Nasr, though the Brazilian rookie also enjoyed plenty of track time in the Ferrari-powered Sauber C34 as he completed 138 laps.

Click here for pictures from the final day of in-season testing in Austria

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Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:09.113 110
2 E. Gutierrez Ferrari 1:09.931 110
3 V. Bottas Williams 1:10.029 79
4 M. Wittmann Toro Rosso 1:10.103 158
5 P. Wehrlein Force India 1:10.253 132
6 J. Palmer Lotus 1:10.373 109
7 F. Alonso McLaren 1:10.718 104
8 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:10.757 116
9 F. Nasr Sauber 1:10.922 138