Grosjean Puts Lotus On Top In Barcelona


BARCELONA, Spain – Romain Grosjean clocked the fastest time on day two of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on Friday.

The Lotus driver, who recorded his best lap on soft tyres in the afternoon session, became the first man to top the timesheets more than once this year, having previously set the quickest time on day two of the first 2013 test at Jerez.

After heavy rain on Thursday night, the drivers had to contend with damp track conditions as the morning session began. Jenson Button was fastest at the lunchtime break, but Grosjean – who’d earlier brought out the red flags when his E21 machine stopped on track – bettered the McLaren driver’s time with just under an hour and a half of running remaining.

Button, who completed 72 laps in the MP4-28, ended the day in second, having set his best time on medium-compound tires. McLaren concentrated on aero mapping in the morning before attempting some longer runs to evaluate upgrades in the afternoon. They ended the day with a series of live pit-stop simulations.

Pastor Maldonado ensured Williams had another productive day of running with their new FW35 machine. The Venezuelan was third fastest, having set his best lap on Pirelli’s soft tires.

Reigning world champions Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull set the fourth-quickest time of the day. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was fifth, with the recently-appointed Adrian Sutil showing strong form on his way to sixth for Force India.

Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo and Marussia’s Max Chilton occupied positions seven and eight, with Caterham’s Giedo van der Garde ninth fastest.

The bottom two drivers on the timesheet were Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who were both concentrating on longer runs.