Testing Day 2: Vettel on top, Merc on point

The end of day two of testing in Formula 1’s first winter test has ended and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is still on top of the time sheets. Ferrari may not have delivered as many laps as Mercedes did on day one when Lewis Hamilton proved the reliability of his 2016 chassis but The Italian team did answer on Tuesday with 126 laps ran.

On the other hand, while Nico Rosberg was the Mercedes driver in for day two, the German pounded out even more laps than Ferrari with a whopping 172 laps! The Mercedes certainly looks daunting in pre-season testing from a reliability standpoint.

Other notables were Williams F1’s Valtteri Bottas who delivered 134 laps and Haas F1’s Esteban Gutierrez had a terrific and uneventful day delivering 79 crucial laps for the freshman team.

1Sebastian VettelFerrari1m22.810s126
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/TAG Heuer1m23.525s0.715s112
3Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m23.650s0.840s101
4Nico RosbergMercedes1m24.867s2.057s172
5Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m25.237s2.427s108
6Esteban GutierrezHaas/Ferrari1m25.524s2.714s79
7Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1m25.648s2.838s134
8Pascal WehrleinManor/Mercedes1m25.925s3.115s71
9Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m26.082s3.272s119
10Jolyon PalmerRenault1m26.189s3.379s42
11Max VerstappenToro Rosso/Ferrari1m26.539s3.729s121
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Richard Bunce

Lap record 1:21.670 (Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari, 2008) so a 1:22.8 is getting along pretty good in the 2nd day of the first test session… could be the ultra softs… assuming no big change in the track layout since 2008… and since when they do that it is usually to slow them down… could be even better.


Hard to tell much from these early tests but I see no signs of a McLaren resurgence on that chart. You can’t be behind Manor. Ever.

Chuck C

Lap times are irrelevant in testing, They’ve done 203 laps in the last two days. They probably didn’t complete that many laps last year until somewhere around the Spanish Grand Prix.


Yeah, people love to say that. And with some good reason. But if you look at 2015’s testing laps at this point, Merc and Ferrari were on top, the middle teams were in the middle, and McLaren was suffering reliability problems. Not exactly random I’d say.


After the first two days of testing last year Mercedes were only fourth fastest, and Sauber were second fastest. So yes testing times at this stage don’t mean a great deal.



You can pick one day in one test to try to parse out that point, but on the whole the story told in preseason testing held in basic terms throughout the season. It was the same the first year of the new Merc engine, remember that? Merc look really fast, way dominant! no, preseason testing means nothing….


What I didn’t say very well was that times at this stage of pre season testing or more correctly teams relative position don’t mean anything. Mercedes have been putting in lots of laps, but don’t appear to be interested in setting fast times (qualifying simulations) yet. Those times will come, and each team will schedule them differently. By the end of the second test we may have a better idea, but after two (or now three) days of testing, it is too early. Haas were second today, which while encouraging is no real indicator that they will be in Q3… Read more »


I know lap times are irrelevant, but its worth noting that Perez set his 3rd fastest time on supersofts, compared to the top 2 times which were on ultrasofts. The FI car is no slouch. Also, its obvious Merc isn’t trying for hotlaps yet.

Paul KieferJr

Definitely an improvement for Haas. Makes midfield more likely.