Vettel fastest again on rain-affected second day of Jerez test


Sebastian Vettel’s good start to life with Ferrari continued in Jerez today as he finished the second day of pre-season testing as the fastest driver.

The four-time world champion posted a best time of 1:20.984 to finish ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, doubling up after also topping the timesheets on Sunday.

Day two in Jerez saw defending world champion Lewis Hamilton enjoy his first public run-out with the new Mercedes W06 Hybrid car, but it did not go entirely to plan. Despite completing more laps than any other driver, his total of 91 fell some way short of teammate Nico Rosberg’s tally of 157 on Sunday.

After being on the pace early on, a problem with the water system on Hamilton’s car sidelined him just after lunch, and the Briton was unable to get back out on track, finishing fourth in the final standings. He will return to the car on Wednesday, with Rosberg stepping in tomorrow.

17-year-old Max Verstappen got his first taste of the Toro Rosso STR10 in Jerez on Monday, finishing a respectable fifth come the end of the day. With 73 laps under his belt, the Dutchman’s experience is certainly growing ahead of the new season.

Despite believing that it would not get out on track until Tuesday, a quick turnaround from Lotus allowed Pastor Maldonado to give the E23 Hybrid its first on-track run. With 41 laps, the Venezuelan driver picked up some good data for the team, even if he encountered one problem whilst out on track in the afternoon.

It was a bad day for both McLaren and Red Bull, though. Jenson Button could manage just six laps in the McLaren MP4-30 as teething problems with the new Honda engine persisted, leaving the Briton down in seventh place.

In a rather bizarre situation, Daniil Kvyat’s first run in a Red Bull was curtailed after he broke the only front wing the team had brought to Jerez. The young Russian was sent back out without a front wing on his car, eventually finishing the day with 18 slow laps to his name.

With one hour to go in Jerez, a heavy rain shower limited running and meant that Vettel’s place at the top of the timesheets was secure. This did not stop the German driver from heading back out in the spray alongside Max Verstappen, Felipe Nasr and Jenson Button, giving their teams some wet-weather data ahead of the new season.

It may only be testing, but once again in Jerez it is Vettel and Ferrari who lead the way. The German driver will next run in the SF15-T at the second test in Barcelona, handing the rest of the Jerez running over to teammate Kimi Raikkonen. You can see the full line-up for tomorrow’s session here.

Jerez Day 2 – Final Results

1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.984 (88 laps)
2. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:21.867 (89)
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:22.319 (61)
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.490 (91)
5. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:24.167 (73)
6. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:25.802 (41)
7. Jenson Button McLaren 1:54.655 (6)
8. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull no time (18)