Vettel leads the way on chilly second day of testing

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF71H
© XPB 

Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari on top at the end of second day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday, which was beset by freezing conditions from the start and even some sleet and snow late in the afternoon.

The icy weather meant a belated start to the morning proceedings. As a result, teams opted to forego their lunch break in order to get in an extra hour of track time during the warmest part of the day.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas led the times at midday, with a lap of 1:20.270s. However as the track warmed up, Vettel took charge with the first sub-80 second lap of the week. He clocked in at 1:19.673s, which was set on the soft compound tyres.

Bottas also improved on his morning time, bringing him within just over three tenths off the Ferrari's pace. The Finn stayed in the car for the whole day, rather than sharing with Lewis Hamilton as originally planned.

Stoffel Vandoorne made an early good impression by setting a time of 1:20.325s on Pirelli's new hypersoft compound despite the cold. However, his afternoon run was limited to just five laps because of an exhaust clip issue. Even so, his morning time was still good enough to keep the McLaren in third place on the timesheets by the end of the day

Max Verstappen made only a limited appearance in the morning while Red Bull attended to a fuel system leak on the RB14. Once that was taken care of, he was able to have a much more constructive afternoon. He was fourth fastest with a time of 1:20.326s after 67 laps of running.

Carlos Sainz also had a good spell behind the wheel on Tuesday. He was fifth fastest in the Renault with a time of 1:21.212s, a tenth ahead of Toro Rosso's Piere Gasly.

Williams' rookie Sergey Sirotkin completed 52 laps in the morning. He was the only driver not to complete a full day, making way for the team's test and development driver Robert Kubica in the afternoon.

Kubica made the most of the better conditions and went seventh fastest on 1:21.495s. He was over three tenths faster than Sirotkin despite running slightly fewer laps.

After limited running on Monday because of teething problems with a sensor that caused brake cooling issues on the VJM-11, Force India got in over three times as many laps on Tuesday. Esteban Ocon was ninth fastest for the day with a respectable best time of 1:21.841s.

Sauber's new boy Charles Leclerc completed 81 laps during the day. That was despite triggering a red flag early in the afternoon, after spinning in turn 4. The car was undamaged and he was back in action an hour later.

Vettel also found the limits of the circuit during the afternoon. He spun off at turn 2 to bring out a brief red flag. However he was able to return to the pit lane under his own power, as marshalls cleaned gravel off the track.

Slowest man on track on Tuesday was Haas' Kevin Magnussen, who sat out much of the chilly morning. The Dane's first proper run had been marred by a harmless run through the gravel on his outlap, but the rest of his day proved uneventful.

F1i will be back with live updates from Spain on the third day of pre-season testing, beginning at 8am on Wednesday.

Pre-season testing Day 2 - Final

Pos Driver Team Time Laps Tyre
1  Vettel  Ferrari 1:19.673 98 S
2  Bottas  Mercedes 1:19.976 94 S
3  Vandoorne  McLaren 1:20.325 37 HS
4  Verstappen  Red Bull 1:20.326 67 S
5  Sainz  Renault 1:21.212 65 S
6  Gasly  Toro Rosso 1:21.318 82 S
7  Kubica  Williams 1:21.495 47 S
8  Sirotkin  Williams 1:21.822 52 S
9  Ocon  Force India 1:21.841 79 S
10  Leclerc  Sauber 1:22.721 81 S
11  Magnussen  Haas 1:22.727 35 S

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