Second Barcelona F1 pre-season test: All posts, one place

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With pre-season testing now over, attention turns to the opening race of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Melbourne, Australia on March 20 – but a number of questions still remain unanswered.

Testing offered some kind of clue as to how the pecking order may shake up this year, with Mercedes once again appearing to lead the way.

However, as testing wore on, Ferrari grew in strength with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both leading the way at periods, while a small chink appeared in Mercedes’ armor on the final day.

Recapping all of our coverage of the second pre-season test, here’s our ‘all posts, one place’ run-down.


Paddock Pass Day 1
Paddock Pass Day 2
Paddock Pass Day 3
Paddock Pass Day 4


Day 1: Rosberg paces opening day of second Barcelona test
Day 2: Valtteri Bottas leads on day two of second Barcelona F1 test
Day 3: Raikkonen’s day at Barcelona; tops timesheets, debuts ‘Halo’ device
Day 4: Sebastian Vettel quickest as F1 pre-season testing ends in Barcelona


Sauber officially reveals new C35 chassis
Toro Rosso confirms 2016 livery (PHOTOS)
Daniel Ricciardo will ‘definitely’ take up Dale Jr.’s Xfinity offer one day
Kimi Raikkonen trials ‘Halo’ F1 cockpit protection in Barcelona
Jenson Button hails biggest improvement by Honda in 14 months
Eric Boullier: No time frame for Jost Capito’s arrival at McLaren
Alonso hits out at complexity of modern F1, ongoing qualifying saga
Kimi Raikkonen: ‘Halo’ makes little difference to F1 cockpit vision
Lewis Hamilton slams ‘Halo’ device in Instagram post
Nico Rosberg on ‘Halo’ F1 cockpit protection: “I’m all for it”
Sebastian Vettel: ‘Halo’ would have saved Justin Wilson’s life
Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1 is ‘broken’ and lacks direction
Rare blip for Mercedes as Hamilton stalls on final test day
Wehrlein: Gap for Manor to make up ‘much smaller’ in 2016
FIA: F1’s new qualifying system “should” debut at Melbourne
Philippe Bianchi calls on FIA to “go further” than ‘Halo’
Haas F1 encouraged after positive final day of testing

Meyer Shank Racing wins Petit Le Mans to take final DPi championship in dramatic finale


Meyer Shank Racing outdueled Wayne Taylor Racing to win the Petit Le Mans and clinch the championship in a thrilling final race for the DPi division.

Tom Blomqvist, who started from the pole position, drove the No. 60 Acura ARX-05 to a 4.369-second victory over Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Action Express Cadillac.

“That was incredible,” Blomqvist told NBC Sports’ Matt Yocum. “I’ve never dug so deep in my life. The adrenaline. I did that for the guys. I was so motivated to win this thing this weekend. But I’ve got to thank everyone on the whole team.”

With co-drivers Oliver Jarvis and Helio Castroneves, Blomqvist helped MSR bookend its season-opening victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona by winning Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Michelin Road Atlanta.

In between those two victories, the No. 60 earned five runner-up finishes to stay in the thick of the championship hunt and trail WTR’s No. 10 Acura by 14 points entering Saturday’s race.

WTR’s Filipe Albuquerque had a lead of more than 10 seconds over Blomqvist with less than 50 minutes remaining in the 10-hour race.

But a Turn 1 crash between the Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillacs brought out a yellow that sent both Acuras into the pits from the top two positions.

Though he entered in second, Blomqvist barely beat Albuquerque out of the pits, and he held the lead for the final 45 minutes.

Blomqvist said he gained the lead because of a shorter fuel fill after he had worked on being efficient in the second-to-last stint.

“The team asked a big job of me with the fuel; I had a big fuel number to hit,” Blomqvist said. “We knew that was probably our only chance. The yellow came at the right time and obviously we had a bit less fuel to fill up, so I was able to jump him and then it was just a matter of going gung-ho and not leaving anything on the line. And obviously, the opposition had to try too hard to make it work. I’m so thankful.”

Albuquerque closed within a few car lengths of Blomqvist with 14 minutes remaining, but he damaged his suspension because of contact with a GT car in Turn 1.

It’s the first prototype championship for Meyer Shank Racing, which also won the 2021 Indy 500 with Castroneves.

“We’ve had in the last four years, three championships for Acura, the Indy 500 win and the Rolex 24, it doesn’t get any better,” team co-owner Mike Shank told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee.

It’s the third consecutive runner-up finish in the points standings for Wayne Taylor Racing, which won the first Daytona Prototype international championship in 2017. The premier category will be rebranded as the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with the LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Kamui Kobayashi finished third in the No. 48 Cadillac of Action Express that also includes Jimmie Johnson and Mike Rockenfeller.

The podium showing marked Johnson’s last scheduled race in IMSA’s top prototype division. The seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion has raced in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac lineup as the Action Express entry has run the Endurance Cup races.

Johnson said a lack of inventory will preclude him having a 2023 ride in the top category. But he still is hopeful of racing the Garage 56 Next Gen Camaro in next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly running in a lower class for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

“I’d love to be at Le Mans next year,” Johnson told NBC Sports’ Dillon Welch after his final stint Saturday. “I’d love to be at the Rolex 24. The series is going through a shake-up with the reconfiguration of the rules and classes, so I don’t have anything locked down yet, but I’m so thankful for this experience with Action. The support Ally has given us, Mr. Hendrick, Chad Knaus, all of Hendrick Motorsports. It’s been a fun two years, and I certainly hope I’m on the grid again next year.”