• First Barcelona Test - Day One

Maldonado tops eventful first day at Barcelona test

Nate Saunders in Barcelona
February 19, 2015
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Lotus' Pastor Maldonado topped a scrappy opening day at the second pre-season test in Barcelona, which featured the unusual sight of two cars colliding and saw McLaren and Mercedes hampered by problems.

Maldonado leapt to the top of the timing screen with a 1:25.011 less than one hour from the chequered flag, a lap he set on the soft tyre. Maldonado had a frustrating start with two separate stoppages out on track in the morning but the red flag waving was not limited solely to Lotus.

There was more woe for McLaren-Honda as a faulty seal on the MGU-K forced the team to change the whole power unit and end its first day early. Jenson Button's start had been promising as he accumulated 21 laps in the first two hours but it was yet another setback for McLaren and its new engine partner.

There was also early difficulty for reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who completed just 11 laps before ending his day early due to a fever. A neck injury for Nico Rosberg meant Mercedes had to wait until after lunch for reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, who completed 32 laps in the morning driving Force India's 2014 car, to step into the breach. A fuel pump problem after lunch hampered Mercedes further, but Wehrlein managed to add another 48 laps before the close of play.

The afternoon session started with an unusual sight for testing as two cars collided. Damage to the left front of Susie Wolff's Williams and the right rear of Felipe Nasr's Sauber was the tell-tale sign the two had come together on the run down to Turn 5, with the Sauber beached in the gravel just before the tyre barrier. It is unclear exactly what happened in the crash, though Wolff was on an out-lap when it occurred. Nasr and Wolff both made it out for late runs but the Sauber finished the session early when it stopped at Turn 9, an incident which brought out a late red flag.

Kimi Raikkonen continued Ferrari's solid start to winter testing, completing 73 laps, though it is still hard to gauge whether the team has made inroads to Mercedes because fuel loads are unknown. However, it will be another morale boosting day of testing after topping three of the four days in Jerez earlier this month.

Daniel Ricciardo had been at the foot of the timesheets for much of the morning without recording a time, but the camouflaged Red Bull was one of the more active participants after lunch. The Australian accumulated 58 laps, though rarely in stints longer than five or six at a time. Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen also had a disjointed morning and early afternoon but still clocked 93 laps overall with some solid running late in the day. Sergio Perez continued Wehrlein's good work in the afternoon at Force India and by the end of the session had recorded a 1:26.636 to go 4th, although headline times are still of limited significance.

Times:

1.  Pastor Maldonado  Lotus        1:25.011   69 Laps
2.  Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari      1:25.167   73 Laps 
3.  Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull     1:25.547   58 Laps
4.  Sergio Perez      Force India  1:26.636   39 laps 
5.  Felipe Nasr       Sauber       1:27.307   78 Laps 
6.  Max Verstappen    Toro Rosso   1:27.900   93 Laps
7.  Jenson Button     McLaren      1:28.182   21 Laps
8.  Pascal Wehrlein   Force India  1:28.329   32 Laps
9.  Pascal Wehrlein   Mercedes     1:29.489   48 Laps
10. Susie Wolff       Williams     1:28.906   83 laps
11. Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes     1:30.429   11 Laps

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