Maldonado fastest on opening day in Barcelona

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain

Pastor Maldonado set the pace on the opening day of the second pre-season test in Barcelona.

Maldonado, who caused two stoppages in the morning, posted a lap of 1:25.011 on the soft tyres to jump to the top of the timesheets in the final hour, ultimately ending the day fastest for Lotus.

Jerez pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen topped the standings for most of the afternoon with a quick medium tyre run set right after lunchtime, but the Finn slipped to second, a tenth shy of Maldonado’s best time.

Daniel Ricciardo completed 56 laps on his way to third fastest, despite spending most of the morning confined to the garage in the Red Bulll, while Sergio Perez was fourth on his first half day of testing after replacing the recalled Pascal Wehrlein at Force India in the afternoon.

Felipe Nasr was fastest in the morning, but ended the day fifth after a bizarre collision with Susie Wolff at Turn 5 in the afternoon.

The Brazilian lost three hours of running after colliding with the Williams racer, but managed to return to the track in the later stages of the day after a commendable rebuild by the Sauber crew, only to grind to a halt at Turn 9 in the dying minutes of the afternoon session.

Max Verstappen, who will hand over to Carlos Sainz on Friday, managed 90 laps on a solid day of running for Toro Rosso to end the day sixth fastest.

McLaren had an encouraging start to the day, with Jenson Button completing 21 laps of the Barcelona circuit before encountering a faulty MGU-K seal, which ended the team’s running before lunchtime.

Pascal Wehrlein ended the opening day in Barcelona with a best time of 1:28.329 in the morning in the year-old Force India, a lap good enough to leave him eighth before he replaced the unwell Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in the afternoon.

The German youngster managed 48 laps at the wheel of the reigning champion’s new W06, but failed to beat his best time from the morning, leaving him classified in both eighth and ninth.

Susie Wolff was tenth for Williams after her clash with Nasr, but managed an impressive haul of 86 laps in the new Williams, while the unwell Hamilton ended the day at the bottom of the timesheets after cutting short his testing programme due to a fever early in the morning.

This article first appeared on Richland F1 –  Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team

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