The second day of testing is underway on a sunny Circuit de Catalunya.
All ten teams return to the track to continue working on their test programs and gaining an understanding of their new cars.
McLaren and Lando Norris were the quickest on day one, with a 1:19.568 becoming the benchmark time at this early stage in F1’s new era.
3:20 p.m.: Another red flag. Nikita Mazepin stopped at turn 9.
Looks like the Haas driver stopped on the race track. The car was fairly quickly returned to the pits and the session resumed.
Lunch: Daniel Ricciardo was the fastest at lunchtime. Another good session for McLaren, who was the fastest on Wednesday thanks to Lando Norris.
11:25 a.m.: Red flag! Looks like Sergio Perez stopped somewhere on the right track.
This is the first red flag we’ve had throughout testing so far. Test stops can happen for all sorts of reasons, but the immediate interest around this will obviously be whether this is an issue costing Red Bull significant track time this afternoon.
Laurence Edmondson, airside: “Looking at the cars on track at the end of the pit straight, it is clear that some (notably the Alpines, Williams and Mercedes) are experiencing a phenomenon known as “porpoising” to some degree. From the outside, the car looks like the car is bobbing up and down on its suspension at speed, almost as if it’s going over bumps.
“I’m not a technical journalist, but the theory is that the subfloor of the car gets so low to the ground due to the downforce acting on it that it starts to make contact, which means a sudden change in downforce causing it to rise This is most evident when the DRS is closed, i.e. when more downforce is acting on the rear.
“We’ll have to wait for driver and team feedback to see how much of an issue this should be, but it could well be a side effect of the new regulations and something that needs to be ironed out by a number of teams. “
12:00 p.m.: It should be remembered that at this stage of the test, mileage is probably the most important measurement criterion than absolute lap times. This is how you can spot teams that might be struggling. Alfa Romeo had a low lap count yesterday and Valtteri Bottas has only managed 12 laps so far this morning – it was another tough morning for the Swiss team.
On the other hand, things on the right track seem to be much better for Haas. Mick Schumacher has had a pretty productive time so far, with 53 laps under his belt.
Carlos Sainz leads the way for Ferrari by nearly a second, but the next closest cars are AlphaTauri and Williams. With fuel loads and engine modes unknown at this time, it’s really a guessing game until we have more data to go on by the end of the week.
11:00 : Sainz stays ahead of the timesheets on a 1:20.890 set to C3 tyres. Pierre Gasly is now the second fastest in the AlphaTauri with a time of 1:21.466 on the C3. It looks like no one has started pushing yet. Fast times tend to come just before lunch or at the end of the day, but we’re currently more than a second off yesterday’s best time and four seconds off the lap record.
10:30 a.m.: Relatively slow start to the day for Mercedes and Red Bull, but both cars are now back on track. Lewis Hamilton is in the Mercedes, Perez in the Red Bull. Nothing comes close to competitive times yet…
10:00 a.m.: Carlos Sainz set the tone at the start for the Ferrari ahead of Williams Alex Albon. We have a handful of drivers making their first pre-season appearance this year this morning, including Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren, Sergio Perez in the Red Bull, Esteban Ocon in the Alpine and Pierre Gasly in the Alpha Tauri. Guanyu Zhou, F1’s only rookie this year, will make his 2022 debut this afternoon.