The second day of the testing in Barcelona saw Sebastian Vettel use the new Pirelli ultrasoft tyres to set a best time of 1m22.810s, with 126 laps of running in his Ferrari. This means that in the first two days of the test Vettel has covered 195 laps of the track, close to 564 miles. His fastest lap today was more than two seconds faster than his Monday best and 1.8 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg’s pole last year, giving an indication of how much progress has been made by the teams in the last 12 months. The Ferrari stopped out on the track in the final minutes of the afternoon session, although it is possible that this may have been a routine test for fuel consumption.
Second fastest today was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who used ultra-soft tyres to record a 1m23.525s, with the Red Bull-TAG-Heuer. This was a long way from Vettel’s pace, but two and a half seconds faster than he went yesterday. The Australian completed 112 laps, compared to 87 on the first day but has ended up doing about the same mileage as Vettel.
Third fastest was the Force India of Sergio Perez, with a best of 1m23.650s, and 101 laps in the day. The car ran 58 on Monday in the hands of new boy Alfonso Celis and Perez was 2.6 secs faster than his fellow countryman. Sergio did his time on super-soft tyres.
Mercedes continues to load on the laps and Nico Rosberg did a mammoth stint of 172, which compared to Lewis Hamilton’s 156 on Monday. This means that the Mercedes team has done 328 laps, nearly 950 miles in two days. His best time was a 1m24.867s, which was set on medium compound tyres. One gets the impression that we have yet to see the full power of the Mercedes challenge, as they are keeping their powder dry and doing endurance and data-gathering work, rather than going for lap times.
Marcus Ericsson was fifth quickest in the Sauber (a revised 2015 car, remember) which clocked a 1m25.237s. The Swedish driver has done nearly 200 laps in the last two days, around the same number of Vettel and Ricciardo.
The Haas was next, in the hands of Esteban Gutierrez, who completed 79 laps for a best of 1m25.524s. This was a lot faster than Romain Grosjean managed on the first day, although he did only 31 laps because of a front wing mounting failure. Thus the new team has done about 300 miles in the first two days.
Williams has been playing things cool as well with Valtteri Bottas completing 80 laps on Monday and 134 on Tuesday, setting a best time of 1m25.648s, which was about 0.443s faster than Monday. His total of laps was 214, which means that there was plenty of solid running to gather data and check reliability. There is no sign that Williams has been going for times.
Pascal Wehrlein was eighth quickest for Manor, but he did only 71 laps to add to his 54 on Monday. This means that the team has done only 125 laps in total.
McLaren has been working hard on mileage, with Fernando Alonso completing 119 laps to add to Jenson Button’s 84 yesterday. This means that the Woking team has completed more than 200 laps in the two days, which is a good sign, although the best lap of 1m26.082s was nothing special. It remains to be seen what sort of lap time the car is capable of doing in a full-out speed run, but it has been clocked as being very quick in the twisty sections, but lacking speed on the straights, an indication that the Honda is still not a very competitive engine.
Jolyon Palmer was 10th fastest with a best lap of 1m26.189s in the Renault after 42 laps before stopping with a turbo problem. He completed 37 on Monday which means that his total mileage for the two days in the Renault was less than 230.
Max Verstappen ended the day slowest with a 1m26.539s but he completed 121 laps, despite stopping in the morning session. The team says that the current car is not the full version of the 2016 car and that the complete car will be seen at the next test. carlos Sainz did 55 laps on Monday so the team has managed to do a lot of mileage.