Sebastian Vettel quickest again on day two of Barcelona F1 test

© Getty Images
1 Comment

BARCELONA – Sebastian Vettel once again took Ferrari to the top of the timesheets on day two of the first Formula 1 pre-season test of 2016.

Vettel led the way in the new Ferrari SF16-H on the first day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and continued to lay down an impressive pace as the entire field racked up plenty of mileage on Tuesday.

Vettel recorded a fastest time of 1:22.810 in the final hour of the morning session after enjoying his first run on Pirelli’s new ultra-soft tire, which made its first appearance.

The lap was enough to give Vettel a buffer of seven-tenths of a second at the top of the timesheets ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who also posted his best time on the ultra-soft tire. Both drivers completed over 100 laps, record 125 and 112 respectively.

High mileage was common throughout the field, with Force India’s Sergio Perez breaking the century barrier with just five minutes remaining in the session. The Mexican driver ended the day third in the standings.

Nico Rosberg led the way in terms of mileage for Mercedes, following the example set by teammate Lewis Hamilton on Monday. Rosberg racked up a mammoth 172 laps en route to fourth place in the final standings, finishing just over two seconds off Vettel’s time.

Marcus Ericsson finished an impressive fifth for Sauber, while Esteban Gutierrez enjoyed a solid first day for Haas to finish sixth, putting in 79 laps behind the wheel of the VF-16.

Valtteri Bottas ended up seventh for Williams ahead of Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein, while Fernando Alonso’s first run in the new McLaren saw him put in 119 laps without any major issues – a good early sign for McLaren.

Jolyon Palmer was less fortunate, though, completing just 42 laps in the Renault before a power unit failure brought his day to an early end and sparked one of three red flag periods. Max Verstappen also caused one due to an issue in the morning, leaving him to prop up the timesheets in P11 for Toro Rosso.

Testing resumes on Wednesday morning in Barcelona from 9am local time (3am ET).

THOUGHTS FROM THE TRACK

A few observations from the track in Barcelona on Tuesday:

  • Mercedes may not have topped the timesheets for the second day in a row, but it unquestionably has the edge once again. The W07 car looks more planted than the rest of the field through corners and particularly strong on turn in. The mileage Nico Rosberg racked up today was – as was Lewis Hamilton’s on Monday – ominous for the chasing pack.
  • Let’s not discount Ferrari just yet though. Vettel’s time on the ultra-soft tire was massively impressive, showing the pace advantage it will offer. The fact he gapped Daniel Ricciardo by such a great amount just minutes after the Australian had posted his time shows that the Ferrari is genuinely strong. The repackaged power unit may offer that extra edge that is needed to give Mercedes more of a fight this year.
  • Like its parent team, Haas enjoyed a very good day in Barcelona. Esteban Gutierrez was the happiest man in the paddock after his first run in the VF-16, speaking to the media after the session with a huge smile on his face. The car looks a bit ragged on exit of corners, but the traction mid-turn is strong. P6 in the standings continues the best start for a new F1 team in 17 years.
  • Toro Rosso is due to get more parts for the STR11 next week at the beginning of the second test. The late change in engine supplier meant not everything could be readied for the start of testing on Monday, so more is due. Regardless, the early signs are good, with the 2015-spec Ferrari power unit giving the team a boost for the start of the season.
  • It proved to be another day to forget for Renault as a power unit failure sidelined Jolyon Palmer just after lunch. The Briton has completed just 79 laps over his two days of running, marking a poor start for the French manufacturer in its comeback year. Kevin Magnussen will assume driving duties in the morning and hope for a better day.
  • Fernando Alonso seemed happy with the McLaren after his first run on Tuesday, completing almost two race distances – a far cry from last year’s struggles. The Spaniard once again had to insist that he will not be leaving the team this year, saying that he felt proud of what all at Woking had achieved over the winter.
  • All in all, what stood out most today was the mileage the teams managed. Just three red flags all day prove how far the current era of F1 cars have come in terms of reliability. A year ago, it was a far higher number. Good progress is being made by all of the teams.

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, points

0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

POINTS: Standings after Rolex 24 at Daytona l Michelin Endurance Cup standings l Daytona endurance points

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.