Rosberg on top on day two of final test

Mercedes driver fastest by 1.2s ahead of Williams' Bottas. McLaren enjoy good day as Button completes 101 laps.

Nico Robserg today confirmed the extent of Mercedes advantage by posting the fastest time of pre-season testing so far, lapping Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya in 1:22.792.

Rosberg set the time midway through the afternoon session as Mercedes ran its W05 car on soft tyres for the first time in winter testing. The time was 1.2 seconds clear of nearest rival Valtteri Bottas, who also used the soft tyre to take his Mercedes-power Williams to a best time of 1:23.995. Rosberg’s time was also 0.7s quicker than day one’s best time set by Williams Felipe Massa on the soft tyre. To complete the picture the Mercedes driver also put 106 laps on the board,

Felipe Nasr set the day’s third fastest time. The Sauber driver used the soft tyre to set a time six hundredths of a second off that set by Bottas. Nasr held sway in the morning session but then switched to a race simulation in the afternoon, eventually getting through 141 laps in total.

His wasn’t day’s biggest total, however. Fourth-placed Sebastian Vettel ground out 143 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya as Ferrari trialled a series of upgrades across a long day of clean running, which included a race simulation.

Three other teams managed to crack the 100-lap mark and remarkably one of those was McLaren. The Honda-powered team managed just seven laps yesterday before a mechanical issue ended their running but today Jenson Button ran without problem for the bulk of the sessions. The team even managed a short outing on the soft tyre with Button claiming fifth place on the timesheet with his lap of 1:25.590.

The Briton’s running was eventually halted 20 minutes before the chequered flag when his MP4-30 stopped at the exit of Turn Seven. It was, however, the team’s most successful day of testing so far this winter.

Pastor Maldonado finished seventh for Lotus and the Venezuelan was responsible for the day’s final red flag when he stopped his Lotus E23 at the pit entry in the final minute of the afternoon session. He too had passed the century of laps mark, recording 140 tours on a good day for the Enstone team.

Max Vertappen, in eighth, might have claimed the distance award if his Toro Rosso had reached the chequered flag. However, after 139 laps, the Dutch teenage was forced back to the garage by an electrical problem that ended his running an hour early.

Daniil Kvyat finished the day in ninth place on the timesheet. After a mechanical problem yesterday the team stuck to short run aero work in the morning as it awaited new parts. After they had been installed over lunch the Russian switched to long runs but his plans were interrupted by a sensor failure that necessitated a return to the garage for a spell. He managed to get out again but it was another quietly methodical day for Red Bull.

Occupying the final slot on the timesheet was Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg. The German giving a track debut to the team’s 2015 car. It was a very productive outing too, the team getting through 77 laps without issue.

Barcelona Final Test - Day Two1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.792s 106 laps2 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:23.995s +1.203 903 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:24.071s +1.279 1414 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:25.339s +2.547 1435 Jenson Button McLaren 1:25.590s +2.798 1016 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:26.705s +3.913 1407 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:26.766s +3.974 1398 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 1:26.965 +4.173 849 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:28.412s +5.620 77

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