Rosberg paces opening day of second Barcelona test

Associated Press

The Mercedes W07 picked up right where it left off from last week at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, to again top the timesheets in the opening day of the second four-day preseason test.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton again split the day’s running, with Rosberg ending on top on Tuesday with a best time of 1:23.022 on Pirelli’s soft tires.

More to the point, the staggering reliability continued with Rosberg running 82 laps in the morning before turning the car over to Hamilton for the afternoon.

Valtteri Bottas, on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound, was second quickest at 1:23.229 for Williams Martini Racing in the FW38 Mercedes.

Both of those cars were more than a second clear of the rest of the field, with Fernando Alonso third in the McLaren MP4-31 Honda (1:24.735), Kimi Raikkonen fourth in the Ferrari SF-16 (1:24.836) and Daniil Kvyat fifth in the Red Bull RB12 (1:25.049). Raikkonen set his best time on the medium tires with Alonso and Kvyat on the softs.

Five drivers clocked in more than 100 laps today, with Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen delivering the most at 144 laps in the STR11 chassis, which saw its new livery premiere today.

Sauber turned in more than 100 laps in the first day of running with the C35 chassis, in the hands of Felipe Nasr. Nasr’s best time was 1:25.493.

Meanwhile Haas F1 Team hit issues for the first time after its impressive first week, with a fuel system issue halting Esteban Gutierrez’s day early after barely more than 20 laps.

Renault also had a late stoppage with Kevin Magnussen at Turn 3 in the RS16, but the Dane still completed more than 100 laps on the day.

Times from the day are below, with Paddock Pass – the NBC Sports Group original digital series featuring Will Buxton and Jason Swales – set to go live later today for the first episode of the year after today’s test. We’ll have it for you on when it goes live.