A zebra-striped Friday

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The Zebra-Bull Red Bull smiles, Ferrari stays second, Williams is in the top 3 and Mercedes finds back its boys. Despite its MGU-K issue, McLaren has taken to the track nonetheless. Today has been its most productive session so far. Let’s review this second testing day in Catalunya…

Weather report: cloudy at the start of the session then mainly sunny but cold, T. air: 3-12°C ; T. track: 13-14°C

Daniel Ricciardo signed the best time at 12:26pm with the soft tyres (1’24’’574 ; pretty heavy fuel load). After a furtive halt in the pitlane at 9:09am, Red Bull took back its activities. They worked on some pit stop practices and a race simulation (143 laps). Kimi Räikkönen has been second like yesterday (1’24’’584 – soft tyres ; 90 laps completed with a programme including some aero tests, long runs, system checks, set-up work and medium, soft and hard tyres testing). Maurizio Arrivabene gave a press conference in Barcelona. http://formula1.ferrari.com/news/maurizio-meets-press-barcelona Sebastian Vettel arrived in the paddock after the lunch so he could follow the session on the trackside before going to say hi to his former family. http://twitter.com/tedkravitz/status/568818545280323584 The Little Prince from Heppenheim would like to win three races at least this season and obviously on as prestigious tracks as his red overall. http://www.gazzetta.it/Formula-1/20-02-2015/formula-1-vettel-ferrari-monza-100959116417.shtml Felipe Massa, who spent the most of the day in the bottom of the grid, has appeared in third position (1’24’’612 – soft tyres). The Brazilian driver, who completed some long runs with various Pirelli compounds before putting the soft tyres for two series of short runs (88 laps), had a famous fan in the Williams garage: his fellow-countryman Neymar. The soccer player is a part of the FC Barcelona. http://twitter.com/WilliamsRacing/status/568780452783366144 On tomorrow afternoon, Valtteri Bottas, who should have a wonderful year in 2015, will be at the steering-wheel of the FW37. http://www.iltasanomat.fi/viihde/art-1424328819989.html Sergio Perez has failed at the fourth place (121 laps) with his spec-2014 car (the new car will arrive on next week) after having been in the trio ahead until late in the afternoon (1’24’’702 – supersoft tyres). Nico Rosberg, who has started this Friday by a big announcement (http://twitter.com/nico_rosberg/status/568675455705985024), was fourth in 1’25’’556 on the grid at 1pm (medium tyres). The German, sixth at the final classification, focused on some aero tests with a constant speed (66 laps). Mercedes has got a new rear wing here. The Star let Lewis Hamilton drive after the lunch break (5th: 1’24’’923 ; 89 laps). The Brit worked on some start procedures and a race simulation. McLaren didn’t want to give up its precious testing day and they’ve been right actually. Even if the MGU-K issue won’t be fixed before tomorrow, Fernando Alonso took care of his fragile MP4-30. He completed several very short runs to improve the car’s balance (7th: 1’25’’961 – 59 laps). This “beautiful day” (as the Spaniard said) has made his team, his public and his dad very happy. Nevertheless, they’re terribly late in their programme and they’re going to struggle a lot during the four first races. Jolyon Palmer has worked on some aero tests for Lotus (8th: 1’26’’280 – 77 laps). Jonathan Palmer was in the garage to cheer for his son. Marcus Ericsson has been ninth (1’27’’344 – 113 laps ; programme: aero tests and long runs). A half-hour before the end of the session, the Swedish driver had to stop his car in the pitlane (gearbox issues). Carlos Sainz Jr, the good last one (1’28’’945 – 100 laps), has followed a similar programme as yesterday (various elements tests on the morning before the race simulation on the afternoon including a race procedures practice). He lost time because of an off-track at the turn 9 at 3:26pm.

There is the gallery: http://www.motorsport-total.com/f1/fotos/galerie/formel-1/testfahrten/2015/testfahrten-in-barcelona/spanien/freitag/s1/c999/d2/p1/15barcelonatest1

(credit pic: motorsport-magazin.com)

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