Kimi Raikkonen Noses Ahead of Lewis Hamilton in F1 Testing
Ferrari shows its teeth on day two.
Less than a tenth of a second separated Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton on day two of Formula 1 testing. The Finnish driver set a time of 1:20.960 in the afternoon session, dropping nearly a second off of Lewis Hamilton's Monday afternoon laptime.
The Mercedes driver ended the session just 0.023 of a second back, only turning 66 laps to Raikkonen's 108. Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas slotted in seventh on the charts, but with a focus on long run pace. Bottas was able to complete a full race simulation on day two of testing, despite looping the car around and narrowly avoiding damage.
Red Bull rebounded from their day one struggles in testing. Gone are the sensor problems that left Ricciardo stopped on track yesterday, teammate Max Verstappen took over and was able to turn a time good enough for third on the time sheets.
Fourth place went to new Haas F1 ace Kevin Magnussen. The second generation driver turned 118 laps in today's practice sessions. And he managed to do so without breaking a front wing like he did yesterday. It's a good start for Haas F1's sophomore season, and the team is cautiously optimistic for 2017.
"Our learning process is a lot better than last year because our people have worked together for a year now and we know more about the car," Team Principal Guenther Steiner said. "We are a lot better prepared."
On the other end of the spectrum, McLaren's bad luck continued in testing. The team has had a terrible time with their Honda engines since returning to the Japanese powerplant in 2015. Despite a complete engine design overhaul in the offseason, the car has managed only 69 laps in two days of testing. An oil system problem completely barred Fernando Alonso from the morning session yesterday—he would go on to turn just 29 laps in the afternoon—and rookie Stoffel Vandoorne, in his first proper run in the new MCL32, was plagued by problems that necessitated a complete power unit change.
Luckily for Vandoorne, he did not end up last on the time sheets. That honor went to new Williams driver Lance Stroll who damaged the car after just 12 laps. A bummer for the Williams team, the repair could not be made today with the parts they had on site.