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Bottas posts fastest time of pre-season testing as Ferrari crash - Räikkönen hits the wall and Mercedes pick up the pace

Published by Christine

Bottas tops the time on day two
Bottas tops the time on day twoCredit: Daimler AG
Verstappen caused one of three red flags
Verstappen caused one of three red flagsCredit: Thompson/Getty
Hülkenberg shared duties with Palmer
Hülkenberg shared duties with PalmerCredit: Renault Sport
Räikkönen okay after crashing the Ferrari
Räikkönen okay after crashing the FerrariCredit: Dunbar/LAT

It took a while for the second day of testing this week to really pick up the pace, but it gradually rumbled into life and brought with it plenty to ponder. Firstly, Mercedes were back on top with Valtteri Bottas posting the fastest time not only of the day, but of the pre-season testing this year so far. He had the supersoft tyres on, which was an advantage, so we're still not reading too much into the lap times.

It wasn't such a good story for Ferrari, who were having a reasonable day on pace before Kimi Räikkönen brought their running to an abrupt end with a crash in the afternoon. The Finn was unharmed but the same could not be said about the car, and Ferrari called it a day. Max Verstappen and Marcus Ericsson both also brought out red flags, although those two incidents were mechanical rather than accidents.

Before lunch we noticed something in the data, and given that we wanted to concentrate on long runs in the afternoon and didn’t want to take any risks, we decided to change the engine. We lost some time but it was the right thing to do as we had a good afternoon and Max was able to work through the rest of the programme. We then encountered another problem right at the end of the day, which we’re looking into.

- Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering, Red Bull

Yesterday's pace-setter Felipe Massa was in the car in the morning, and he handed over duties to rookie Lance Stroll in the afternoon. The pressure was on Lance but he did very well, testing out the supersoft tyres for the first time in his career.

And, of course, plenty of attention today was on McLaren who finished towards the bottom of the timesheets. After the session, Fernando Alonso was pretty critical of the engine, saying the team are ready to win if it wasn't for the power unit they have on board. The Spaniard may have reached the end of his tether.

2017 testing - Day 6, Barcelona
1V BottasMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1:19.31070
2F MassaWilliams Martini Racing1:19.42063
3K RäikkönenScuderia Ferrari1:20.40653
4M VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:20.432102
5L StrollWilliams Martini Racing1:20.57959
6L HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1:20.70279
7N HülkenbergRenault Sport F1 Team1:21.21361
8S PérezSahara Force India F1 Team1:21.297100
9C SainzScuderia Toro Rosso1:21.87292
10R GrosjeanHaas F1 Team1:21.88796
11P WehrleinSauber F1 Team1:23.00059
12F AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:23.04146
13M EricssonSauber F1 Team1:23.38447
14J PalmerRenault Sport F1 Team1:24.77429

Jolyon Palmer looked to be pretty disappointed with his day's work, completing just 29 laps today, after only a handful during his last outing as well. Renault have had a slow start to their season, but no one seems to be panicking yet. Both Renault and Sauber split their driving duties today with two each.

Some great laps in the car today ! Can't wait to be back behind the wheel on Friday

RGrosjean RGrosjean

Alonso says the McLaren is losing 30km/h on the straight. He's not quite right. It's 26.4km/h

andrewbensonf1 andrewbensonf1

Lots more useful work completed today. Teams have been testing all the tyres, but the focus is now definitely on Australia preparation #F1

pirellisport pirellisport

HAM: "This car... it's faster and it's more of a challenge to extract everything from it. I love that I get to do this."

adamcooperF1 adamcooperF1

Just two days left and the pressure is starting to build for teams to get their planned running completed. Some, such as Mercedes, are likely to be well ahead of schedule, whilst we know that others have plenty of catching up to do. At the moment, the schedule has many from the first day this week back again - Vandoorne giving Alonso a break, Ocon back in the Force India, and Magnussen taking over from Grosjean in the Haas.

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