• Second Barcelona test - Day 2

Vergne fastest on disjointed morning

Chris Medland in Barcelona March 2, 2012
Jean-Eric Vergne was unable to set a time on supersoft tyres after stopping late in the morning © Getty Images
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Jean-Eric Vergne set the fastest time of a disjointed morning session on day two of the final test in Barcelona.

After heavy fog postponed the start of the day's running, Vergne managed to set a lap of 1:23.126 on a single flying lap run half an hour before lunch. Vergne's best time was set on soft tyres, and he'd just gone out on supersofts when his car came to a halt at turn eight, causing the sixth red flag of the morning.

Fernando Alonso had been quickest for much of the day, pleasing the fans in the main grandstand, but he had no time to improve after Vergne had beaten his 1:23.447. His best time came on hard tyres and showed some underlying pace in the F2012, even if the team still has much to learn about the car.

Yesterday's pace-setter Romain Grosjean was third fastest in a time of 1:23.528, continuing the good recovery shown by Lotus after its chassis issues last week. He was just 0.008s quicker than Sebastian Vettel, who spent the early part of the morning running through pit stop drills with Red Bull. He brought the session to an early end though when stopping at turn five with ten minutes to go.

Heikki Kovalainen continued Caterham's impressive performance as he set the fifth fastest time. The car had already proven quick on hard tyres before Kovalainen put in a 1:23.828 on supersofts as the track warmed up. He was just 0.055 quicker than Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India, who completed 33 laps in between the stoppages.

Lewis Hamilton was seventh quickest for McLaren, just under a second slower than Vergne's best lap. His best time came on hard tyres as the team continues to introduce new components to the MP4-27.

Eighth quickest Michael Schumacher had a difficult morning as he caused two of the seven red flags. The first came when he stopped at turn eight, but the second came when his Mercedes ended up going straight on in to the gravel at turn five and as a result he was limited to just 19 laps.

Pastor Maldonado didn't fare much better as he completed 20 laps after causing the first stoppage following the fog delay. He stopped at turn six and didn't reappear for over an hour. Kamui Kobayashi was 10th as Sauber focused on set-up work.

The other red flag came when debris needed to be cleared from turn two, with marshals picking up what appeared to be chunks of polystyrene from the track. The teams will regain the half hour lost at the start of the session with the end of the day extended by 30 minutes until 17:30 local time.

Times

Driver Car Time Laps
1. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso STR7 1:23.126 31
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari F2012 1:23.447 35
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus E20 1:23.528 34
4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB8 1:23.536 38
5. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham CT01 1:23.828 34
6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India VJM05 1:23.893 33
7. Lewis Hamilton McLaren MP4-27 1:24.111 30
8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes W03 1:24.663 19
9. Pastor Maldonado Williams FW34 1:25.801 20
10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber C31 1:26.111 35

Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1

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Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1 Chris Medland, who in his youth even found the Pacific GPs entertaining, talked his way in to work at the British Grand Prix and was somehow retained for three years. He also worked on the BBC's F1 output prior to becoming assistant editor ahead of the 2011 season