Nico Rosberg set the fastest time on the first day of the second Barcelona test, lapping the circuit in his Mercedes in 1m23.022s, using the soft compound tyre. It was the first time that the team had used anything other than the medium tyre. He completed 82 laps of the circuit before handing the car over to Lewis Hamilton, who flew in from Los Angeles. He set the sixth quickest time of the day, in the afternoon, with a 90-lap afternoon on medium tyres, his best being a 1m25.051s. Rosberg’s time was just two-tenths slower than the best achieved in the first test by Sebastian Vettel, but he used the new ultrasoft tyres to get down to that time. With another 172 laps in total, Mercedes’s reliability continues to look bullet-proof.
Valtteri Bottas was second quickest today with a 1m23.229s after 123 laps, but the Finn used the ultrasoft tyres to get there.
There was then a gap of 1.5secs back to the third fastest of the day, Fernando Alonso in the McLaren-Honda, who completed 93 laps and did a best of 1m24.735s. He had one technical problem, just before the midday break.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest for Ferrari, and completed 72 laps in the day, but his best time was 1.8secs off the pace, with a 1m24.836s. His time was set on medium tyres, but the SF16-H stopped at one point on the pit straight and was not seen again for a couple of hours. Next up was Daniil Kyat, who was two seconds off Rosberg’s pace, after 69 laps. he also lost time during the day, as a result of rear brake problem.
Seventh fastest overall was Max Verstappen in the liveried and fully-in-order Toro Rosso, with which he completed a mammoth stint of 144 laps, with a best time of 1m25.176s.
Further back there was Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India (1m25.336s after 121 laps), Felipe Nasr in the new Sauber C35 (1m25.493s after 103 laps), Kevin Magnussen in the Renault (1m25.760s after 119 laps), Esteban Gutierrez in the Haas, who managed just 23 laps because of a fuel system problem. His best was a 1m26.661s, while Rio Haryanto brought up the rear in the Manor with a 1m27.625s after 45 laps. He missed most of the morning session on the circuit with an oil leak.