After failing to run at all on day one, McLaren kick-started their F1 pre-season by topping the timings at Jerez on Wednesday.
Jenson Button, who also led after a morning which was handed over to wet-weather testing following overnight rain, set a respectable 1:24.165 early in the afternoon which was three seconds faster than Kimi Raikkonen’s best from day one, but still quite a way of the expected pace.
The day also belonged to Mercedes as, despite starting a little late following Lewis Hamilton’s front wing failure on Tuesday, Nico Rosberg completed the nearest thing we have seen to a normal test day so far in 2014 managing 97 laps on Wednesday.
The German also completed the longest stints seen so far with a best of 24 consecutive laps without pitting in the afternoon which included his best time of the day; a 1:25.588.
It is a very positive sign for the Anglo-German team and perhaps even more positive for the company as a whole as Mercedes powered cars completed 212 laps of the Jerez circuit, easily better than Ferrari whose two teams had a combined 100 laps and Renault with just 19.
The only team keeping them honest are Ferrari as Kimi Raikkonen completed 47 laps on Wednesday taking the second best time of the day, a 1:24.812.
Williams, who are also running Mercedes engines in 2014, also had a productive day with Valtteri Bottas back behind the wheel; the Finn completed 35 laps with the third best time, a 1:25.344. The FW36 also ran trouble free on a day when only three red flags were called for stoppages.
However the three stoppages were shared equally among the engine suppliers as Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber Ferrari, Sergio Perez’s Force India Mercedes and Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham Renault were forced to pull off the circuit.
Caterham’s woes tied in to a disappointing day for all those with Renault V6 power, Toro Rosso failed to run at all, while Red Bull had to finish their day around lunchtime after a battery issue meant the car was unable to store any ERS power, as a whole the three teams have managed just 38 laps over the first two days.
Day 2 results:
1 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1m24.165s, 43 laps
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1m24.812s, 47 laps
3 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1m25.344s, 35 laps
4 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1m25.588s, 97 laps
5 Sergio Perez (Force India) 1m28.376s, 37 laps
6 Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) 1m33.270s, 53 laps
7 Marcus Ericsson (Caterham) 1m37.975s, 11 laps
8 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1m38.320s, 8 laps
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