- Jerez Test, Day Two
Button pips Kimi, Rosberg impressesLaurence Edmondson January 29, 2014 « Vettel's second day cut short | Lauda takes championship lead with maiden home victory »
Jenson Button set the fastest time of the second day of testing at Jerez as McLaren set about making up for lost ground after spending Tuesday in the garage.
It was a good day for the Mercedes-engined cars, with McLaren, the Mercedes factory team, Force India and Williams notching up 212 laps between them. After its front wing failure on Tuesday, Mercedes got the W05 back on track by 11:30 and Nico Rosberg proceeded to notch up 97 laps by the end of the day - more than a race distance and all the cars combined on Tuesday.
Rosberg was fourth fastest by the end of the day, 1.423s off Button's fastest lap, but it was the consistency of his laps that impressed most with several long stints. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest overall, 0.647s off Button, with a healthy total of 47 laps before handing over to Fernando Alonso on Thursday.
In stark contrast, the Renault-powered cars struggled for mileage with the Red Bull and Caterham completing 19 laps between them and the Toro Rosso failing to make it out the garage. World champion Sebastian Vettel completed just eight laps to add to the three he managed on the first day of testing, but with two and half hours remaining of the session the team called an end to his day with a "power storage issue". With no plans to alter Red Bull's schedule at the moment, it will mark the end of Vettel's first week of testing as Daniel Ricciardo is set to drive for the rest of the week.
The day got off to a damp start, but every cloud has a silver lining and Pirelli capitalised on the overnight rain in order to complete its mandatory wet and intermediate tyre testing. A tractor with a tanker and sprinkler system attached (essentially a muck spreader) toured the circuit at 9:00, delaying the start but ensuring the track was wet enough for Pirelli's wet weather rubber.
All the teams bar Caterham and Toro Rosso took advantage of the opportunity and made it out at some point before 13:00. In the late morning the track began to dry and Esteban Gutierrez was among those who switched to slicks first, but ended up in the gravel on the exit of Turn Five and caused Wednesday's first red flag.
The car did not make it as far as the barrier but sustained some damage to the floor, which was not deemed serious enough to repair for the rest of the day.
Caterham finally hit the track in the afternoon and despite the car cutting out as it exited the garage for the first time, it completed 11 laps by the end of the day (the most of any Renault-powered car). However, the car stopped on track and was 13 seconds off the pace of Button. Marussia's car finally arrived in the afternoon and the team is hoping to hit the track for the first time on Thusday.
Times at close
Jenson Button McLaren 1m24.165s 43 laps Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m24.812s 47 laps Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m25.344s 35 laps Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.588s 97 laps Sergio Perez Force India 1m28.376s 37 laps Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m33.270s 53 laps Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m37.975s 11 laps Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m38.320s 8 laps
Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1
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