F1: Vettel tops Jerez Day 2 as Red Bull, McLaren struggle
Testing continued into a second day at Jerez and we saw a similar outcome to Sunday, with Ferrari and Sauber at the top of a list of times that, in reality, meant very little.
It was a cool and cloudy day in Spain, with a shower in the last hour allowing some drivers to sample intermediate tires at the end of what was a largely uneventful day.
The big novelty of the day was the first appearance of the Lotus E23, which arrived late on Sunday, and was built up overnight. Pastor Maldonado emerged a couple of hours into the session and ran 41 laps before he caused the first red flag of the day when he stopped on track in the afternoon after hitting a drivetrain issue.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel continued to get to know both Ferrari and the SF15-T as he went around 1.6 seconds faster than yesterday while logging a healthy total of 89 laps.
“It’s too soon to give a verdict on the true level of this car,” said Vettel. “Especially as we can’t make a comparison with the other teams, who can be running different programs. However, I’d say we have a good basis to work from. We did a lot of running, even in the rain, when we tried the new intermediate tires, which worked well, getting up to temperature despite the cold: that’s a definite step forward.”
Felipe Nasr took over the Sauber from Marcus Ericsson and repeated his teammate's result the previous day of second, some 0.8s behind the Ferrari. It was a largely reliable day for the team as the Brazilian ran more than 80 laps.
Valtteri Bottas continued to handle the Williams FW37, the Finn adding another 61 laps to his total, and setting the third best time.
Lewis Hamilton took over the Mercedes W06 from teammate Nico Rosberg. It was obvious that the team wasn't at all interested in lap times, and the day was brought to a halt by a water leak late in the afternoon after Hamilton had run 91 laps, far less than the 157 recorded yesterday.
After Carlos Sainz drove on Sunday, Max Verstappen took over the Toro Rosso, which he had already experienced in the filming day shakedown at Misano last week. He set the fifth best time of the day.
It was yet another tough day for McLaren and Honda as Jenson Button drove the car for the first time – and logged his first laps with Honda power since he drove for the works team in 2008. The car once again spent most of the day in the garage after running only five laps, before re-emerging on the damp track in the last 20 minutes, which at least gave the team a chance to see if it had traced the problem.
The most unusual sight of the day was that of Daniel Kvyat running with no front wing. The Russian went off on an installation lap and damaged the only wing that the team had available. Instead of wasting the day, he did a series of in and out laps with no wing on the car which at least allowed the team to run some systems checks, without actually completing a flying lap.
Jerez day 2 results: