- Jerez Test, Day Two
Button fastest on second morning as McLaren get on track
Jenson Button topped a wet morning of testing in Jerez on Wednesday after McLaren finally got its MP4-29 out on track after spending the opening day of pre-season testing in the garage.
Although there was more action on the second morning of testing, times were down on Tuesday due to a damp start and remain meaningless as teams focus purely on reliability. 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, but ended up in the gravel on the exit of Turn Five and caused Wednesday's only red flag so far. The car did not make it as far as the barrier and appeared to be undamaged. Aside from the mistake, it was an industrious morning for Sauber with the highest lap count (33).
Sebastian Vettel added to his three laps from Tuesday with a further five on Wednesday morning and completed his first timed lap just after lunch to add to his total. Mercedes returned to the track at 11:30 after fixing its car following Lewis Hamilton's shunt at Turn One on Tuesday. Nico Rosberg was at the wheel and completed three installation laps before returning to the garage for an hour. Just before 13:00 the Mercedes was back on track on slick tyres, with the sun slowly drying the remaining damp patches ahead of the afternoon.
Caterham fired its car up just before lunch but at 13:00 the CT05 had not yet left the garage. After a day struggling with its new Renault engine on Tuesday, Toro Rosso also spent a morning in its garage, forcing new driver Daniil Kvyat to watch on.
Times at 13:06
Jenson Button McLaren 1:32.443, Laps 16 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:37.762 Laps 17 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari 1:38.272 Laps 15 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:38.320 Laps 8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:39.008 Laps 13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.276 Laps 9 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:41.789 Laps 33