BARCELONA, Spain – Nico Rosberg sent Mercedes to the top of the timesheets as pre-season testing resumed at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain on Tuesday.
The German, who along with Mercedes endured an up-and-down first test of the season in Jerez, set his quickest lap late in the afternoon using Pirelli’s medium-compound tires.
Marginally behind Rosberg was Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen, despite the Finn setting the fewest laps of anyone because of data-logging issues. Like Rosberg, Raikkonen’s best time came in the final hour of running when his E21 was fitted with the medium tyres.
The third-quickest time on the opening day was set by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari F138. The Spaniard marked his first test appearance of the year by recording the most laps of anyone – 110 in total.
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel set the fourth-fastest time of the day as Red Bull continued the development of their new RB9 machine. The German was fastest of all at the lunch break, but was overhauled in the afternoon, despite improving his time using the medium-compound tire.
Pastor Maldonado clocked the fifth-fastest time for Williams on the day when the team launched their new Renault-powered FW35. The Venezuelan driver, who briefly topped the timesheets in the morning, completed 86 laps – the second-highest number of the day.
Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo shaded McLaren’s Sergio Perez for the sixth-quickest time of the day, with Paul di Resta eighth fastest for Force India.
Esteban Gutierrez, who brought out the day’s first red flag with a run-to-dry fuel run, was ninth fastest in the new Sauber C32 and admitted to some struggles.
Marussia’s Max Chilton and Caterham’s Charles Pic were tenth and 11th respectively as the first of the four days of testing came to an end.