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BARCELONA TEST TWO DAY TWO – Carlos Sainz sets the pace early on to end day fastest by half a second

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fastest on the second day of the second test at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The Spaniard set his fastest lap very early on and remained in the top spot after setting his fastest time early on, going six tenths faster than Racing Points Sergio Perez.

The McLaren driver set his fastest time on the C4 compound of tyre to match his teammate Lando Norris’s performance on Tuesday. Sainz’s fastest time was the fastest time of the winter so far, a 17.1 set on the second fastest compound.

However, the day wasn’t easy for the team as reliability issues interrupted the running but the team managed to get Sainz back out on track. It was the most difficult day for Ferrari of testing so far, Sebastian Vettel crashing out.

The Ferrari driver had managed forty laps before crashing at Turn Three, what the team said was a mechanical issue in his car on the approach to the corner. The German driver applied heavy brakes but went straight on, over the gravel trap and into the wall.

Vettel told reporters “We had more laps on the board than 40 this morning so for sure it is not ideal in that we are losing time. But right now it is important to understand what happened.”

“I hit the wall quite strongly and I think the Tecpro and the wall did their job and the car did its job but of course after the impact the car was very damaged.”

Vettel’s incident wasn’t the only red flag of the day, as Sainz stopped on track because of a loss of water pressure causing Sainz’s car to stop on track in the morning.  Max Verstappen coming to a halt at the pit lane exit and Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo stopping on track in the final minute of the session.

Late improvements by Perez saw him move into second place, although the Mexican was seven tenths off despite using the same tyre. Kimi Raikkonen put his Alfa Romeo fourth fastest with the Finn managing 113 laps. Raikkonen was a tenth faster than the Haas of Romain Grosjean.

But Racing Point remains behind in terms of mileage, but finally showed some pace late on in the day. Perez’s time came on the same compound as Sainz.

While Mercedes haven’t set any true laps in testing the team is still expected to be the strongest on track. Again both Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton continued to rack up the miles with well over two and a half race distances.

Hamilton told reports that the teams focus this week has been to evaluate a Melbourne-spec aero upgrade that Hamilton has described as an “improvement from last week”.

Renault’s day was mainly split between long runs mainly for both Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg. Hulkenberg did end the day three seconds faster, after switching to performance runs. The two drivers split by the Williams of Robert Kubica.

The Polish driver spent most of the softer compounds managing over two race distances on his way to twelfth fastest, abet two seconds off the pace.

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Jack Fielding
Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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