Formula 1

Pastor Maldonado top on final day in Barcelona

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Maldonado top of the pile in Barcelona.
Maldonado top of the pile in Barcelona..

Pastor Maldonado ended the second day of testing in Barcelona as the fastest man on a red flag hit day on track.

The Lotus F1 driver topped the sheets with a time of 1:24.871s, a significant improvement on the 1:26, 434s time set by Tuesday's fastest man, Max Chilton.

The Venezuelan has had a troubled start to the 2014 season since his move from Williams to Lotus but will take positives from the test session going into the next Grand Prix in Monaco next week.

Nico Rosberg was second in the Mercedes with a gap of 0.934s. Rosberg tested the megaphone exhaust on his car, an idea designed in attempt to improve the much-criticised sound of the Formula One engines this season. 

"As a team, we want to - for the sport - make things louder, so we need to try some other solutions, because this was not the right solution," Rosberg said.

Rosberg had been running on the medium option tyre where as Maldonado had been on the supersofts, explaining his speed advantage. 

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen managed to drive 93 laps on the final day having only achieved 20 before ending up in the gravel on Tuesday. Raikkonen was third fastest ahead of Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber car. 

Female driver Susie Wolff received her first opportunity to test in the Williams car and provided the fifth fastest time. She did spin off to cause one of the many red flags of the day.

Wolff posted ahead of Jules Bianchi of the Marussia team, while Sebastian Vettel found himself as low down as seventh but with 72 laps of data in the bag to aid Red Bull's pursuit of Mercedes. 

Testing in the Force India was Daniel Juncadella. The 23-year-old Spaniard managed the eighth fastest time along with two red flags on the day.

Making his Formula One debut was the talented Stoffel Vandoorne, part of the McLaren Driver Development Team. The Belgian completed the most laps of the day with 135 but was restricted to the ninth fastest time. He, like Juncadella, was conducting tyre work for Pirelli, as allocated to each team at each in season test.

Daniel Kvyat was the slowest man of the day with only 21 laps in the Toro Rosso car while Caterham did not run due to damage caused to the car by Kamui Kobayashi the day before. 

Not too much can be read into the times of the teams as all are working on new things and running on different tyre choices and set-ups. But certainly the more data obtained the better for teams in looking to develop their cars for the upcoming race in Monaco.

Maldonado, who has faced a tough start to life with Lotus due to the lack of pace in the car and a number of high-profile accidents and mistakes by the 29-year-old, will be happy to see his name at the front no doubt. 

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