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Valtteri Bottas pips Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona testing as Haas F1 suffers
Valtteri Bottas
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  02 Mar 2016   |  6:29 pm GMT  |  36 comments

Valtteri Bottas topped the second day of the final pre-season Formula 1 test for Williams, while Mercedes again showed its speed on the soft tyres and Haas F1 completed just one lap.

This was a day when more new parts were brought to the cars as the teams chase performance in the build-up to Melbourne; McLaren ran its new specification rear win, for example. Ferrari and its customer teams ran into some problems with the latest specification engine; Haas and Sauber in particular. The US team changed a turbo overnight, then found this morning on the installation lap that the new unit wasn’t working properly, so had to change again, which took all day.

Bottas’ 1m23.261s was set on the supersoft Pirelli rubber mid-way through the afternoon session after the Williams driver had practiced qualifying runs on the soft compound tyres. Williams are feeling quite positive about the package at this stage.

The Finn’s time pushed Lewis Hamilton down to second, as the world champion had been fastest in the morning session on 1m23.622s. Interestingly Hamilton and Rosberg, who again ran in the afternoon, were down on straight line speed compared to normal, clearly running a lot of downforce on the car. Hamilton was 2/10ths faster in Sector 3, which is all about low speed downforce and traction, yet his top speed on the main straight was just 326km/h, compared to 337km/h last week.

Lewis Hamilton

Before he handed over to Nico Rosberg for the afternoon session, Hamilton had clocked up 73 laps and finished 0.6s adrift of his teammate’s current best time on the same tyres, which was set yesterday.

Much like Hamilton did on day one, Rosberg spent the afternoon session completing yet another race simulation for Mercedes and he ended up ninth in the standings. The German driver managed 91 laps, which gave Mercedes 166 for the day.

Kevin Magnussen was third for Renault on a 1m23.933s, which he recorded using the supersoft tyre. The Dane completed 126 laps and set his best time shortly before the lunch break.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel was back on-track for Ferrari and ended the day fourth quickest on a 1m24611s. The Scuderia enjoyed its most productive day of testing so far in 2016, as Vettel recorded 151 laps just a day after his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, lost a significant amount of time with a gearbox failure.

Jenson Button was fifth for McLaren with a time of 1m25.183s, just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who did a three-stop race simulation in the RB12 during the afternoon session.

Carlos Sainz completed another 166 laps for Toro Rosso, the most of any one driver today, and the Spanish driver ended up seventh fastest.

Carlos Sainz

Sergio Perez was eighth quickest in Force India’s VJMO9, and the Mexican driver completed 128 laps.

Pascal Wehrlein was tenth fastest for Manor Racing, just ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who completed 55 laps for Sauber. The Swedish driver caused the only red flag of the day when he spun into the gravel minus his right rear wheel at Turn 4, with one hour remaining.

Esteban Gutierrez and Haas F1 had another tough day as a turbo problem was detected on the Mexican driver’s installation lap this morning and the team was unable to fix it in time to run again.

After a fuel system issue cost the team most of the day on Tuesday, Haas F1 has only managed to complete 24 laps in the first half of the final F1 test.

Additional reporting: James Allen in Barcelona

Esteban Gutierrez

Results: Barcelona test two, day two: With tyre compounds used to set time

1 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m23.261s, 108 laps S/Soft
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.622s +0.361s, 73 laps Soft
3 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m23.933s +0.672s, 126 laps S/Soft
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m24.611s +1.350s, 151 laps Medium
5 Jenson Button McLaren 1m25.183s +1.922s, 121 laps Soft
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m25.235s +1.974s, 135 laps Medium
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1m25.300s +2.039s, 166 laps Medium
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1m25.593s +2.332s, 128 laps Soft
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.298s +3.037s, 91 laps Medium
10 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1m27.064s +3.803s, 79 laps Soft
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1m27.487s +4.226s, 55 laps Soft
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas No time set, 1 lap

What do you make of today’s times? Should Williams and Ferrari be encouraged by their day’s work? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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With the Stability in Rules, the Williams can always make up ground with respect to the competition, especially with the MERC PU they have. But the thing is last year they were far away from Ferrari. Only Because Kimi Struggled with the car on many races, was he falling in the cluctches of Bottas. This year i seriously doubt Williams can do anything beyond scoring enough points in the first half so as to ensure they can come third as the Redbull transforms in the second half of the season. My money would be on Redbull catching up by the end of the year.

Also i have no idea if they are sarcastic saying Torro Rosso might be higher up than Redbull. Really doubt it. If Renault made up o.6 of a second with the PU like they claim they did this year, they are already close to the Ferrari ’15 PU and the rest is made up with much better Aero by Redbull than TR.

Willaims though, may trouble Ferrari again if the car doesnt perfectly suit Kimi again, but otherwise Bottas is correct, the MERC is in a different league to the Williams Probably ?

Someone Said Barcelona doesnt usually suit Ferrari,by that logic, Ferrari might be much faster in other tracks and has a good chance of winning say 40% of the races? Same as the MERC, yet the last 20% the decider will come down to random reliability variables where MERC seem to be one to put money on for this years title after a thrilling battle with Ferrari.


James, would love to see a published list of top speeds for all cars on each day with tyre compound type. Could make for a good top end power comparison over last years cars.


a quick question if i may. could you get dom to comment as to how these aggressive ‘quali’ modes actually work? i know they cant’t exceed the 100kghr limit so what else? thanks….


I find it kind of ridiculous that every team bar Merc and Ferrari have a stated maximum goal of a podium finish.


Know what you mean, but everyone else is either a slower customer or continuing their PU power struggles. Hopefully things’ll get better, eventually, meantime looking forwards to some classic midfield battles.

Tornillo Amarillo

James, I think Kevin Magnussen in the Renault getting a lap of 1m23.933s and doing 126 laps is really remarkable…


Look at this NSX review. V6s just don’t sound good. Too complex. Dead feel. Non involving. Interesting.



As you say this is only testing and a lot of the info can be meaningless. But I think in Melbourne tyres will play a big part in the race along with reliability. They a predicting 32c on race day but at the track it will be more like 36c +. Punishing both tyres and drivers.


Looking good for Ferrari, very competitive from Vettel on medium tyres.


Ferrari could do with giving a 2016 engine to Torro Rosso, just to help out with the reliability development 😉

Williams to beat Ferrari this year, not on Bottas’s laptime, purely on better reliability.


Williams will be beaten by Red Bull this year


“Williams to beat Ferrari this year, not on Bottas’s laptime, purely on better reliability.”

Vettel went 151 laps today without an issue. Kimi got in over 60 yesterday and it was an issue with the gearbox, not PU.

Too early to say Merc is bullet proof and Ferrari will have reliability issues.


No, Ferrari is ahead of Williams

Reliability hasn’t been an issue for Ferrari in recent years, it is now because a) they aere pushing very hard and b) this is testing.

When the racing starts they are more likely to ensure reliability and knock back the performance a bit, if they haven’t got on top of it fully with fastest spec car


The Williams would need to be considerably faster than the Ferrari for Bottas to better Vettel. Won’t happen.


Could you add the exact tyres they used to set their fastest lap times? That would give a clearer picture when looking through


Interesting that Bottas would rate Williams performance in the vicinity of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Perhaps Red Bull may not be behind the sister team as Horner suggested.

Otherwise, the biggest talking point of the second winter testing is how Mclaren are looking much better which is an encouraging sign for hard racing for the podium places


When the rubber meets the road in Melbourne, Mclaren shall mix it with the Saubers, Manors & may be that is maybe Haas.


@mien… wait, forget the lower mid field, as someone mentioned above, curiocity lies about who exactly will be LAST.. Sauber? because they are low on budget, late etc, But they have 2016 Ferrari Engine! HAAS because they are new? Again 2016 Ferrar PU with added tech support from Ferrari and trying to score points this year is thier target, or MANOR, who went from a 2014 Ferrari super small turbo PU to a latest gen 2016 Merc PU only to find it makes no difference without a semi respectful car.. The Race for who will take the last place honors is more wild than wether Merc or Ferrari will be First. In this whole Mix Lotus had a semi respectabel chassis last year massively boosted by a Merc PU for last year good enough for a random podium while being below par at most of the races, This year they are back to one of the most under powered PU’s with Renault, Where does that car slot in? midfiled or lower end? last? They truly complicated it by giving the MANOR a ’16merc and saying they are curious if it can be midfield 😀 the audacity! Mclaren seems to keep saying they will HAVE the best chassis by europe and they will HAVE a different spec PU by australia, They may also have a WDC or WCC this year? But the real question is, will they be garage neighbors with MANOR this year like MANOR had mocked them last year over twitter? 😛


@ mien

So that would be the lower midfield then


I know it’s only testing, but can we read anything into the fact that Rosberg has been faster than Hamilton on the same tyres?


No. Rosberg lacks the mental strength and or backing to challenge Lewis.


No, it’s only testing as you say



Huh what ?


True. Although Hamilton’s comments after today’s running may give Rosberg, and possibly Ferrari, some optimism. He said he felt the car was nowhere on the soft tyres and wishes he had last years tyres.

James, is it all down to the relatively low track temp?


Partly yes I think so

Button said he’s getting lots of training on all compounds


James this typo is priceless “McLaren ran its new specification rear win” does that mean they were trying to come last as wining at the rear would be last place right? In which case Button being 5th did he not fail miserable? Way to spur on McLaren point out they are no longer capable of coming last! 😉


Gene Haas admitted he’s finding the complexity of the cars a bit overwhelming.

Better word than overwhelming is “pointless”.


Yeah, but wait until he looks at the rules and regulations 😉

Meanwhile, I’ve just learned that qualifying will now consist of all the drivers balancing an egg on the nose of their cars while they drive around the track backwards.

The first car to have their egg fall off will qualify last, while the last will qualify first (but that’s before the inevitable grid penalties are applied of course).


I was opposed to the new qualifying format.

Now, however, I’m breaking out the popcorn. Q1 is going to be hilarious in Monaco, Hungary, Austria, Brazil, Mexico, and probably a few other tracks– 22 cars on track, all looking for clean air, so they can get a good lap in the bank.

Assuming the stewards are handing out penalty points for impeding during qualifying, we’re going to have half a dozen drivers sidelined for a race by Spa.


Even Copy and Paste F1 is overwhelming for Hass.

Starting from scratch and getting nowhere close three years or so later is pointless.

If they can’t change then simplify these stinking PeeEwwws and lets go racing!


You know what’s my beef Clarks? All these people spewing poetic about how they love technology in F1, but I don’t think the really know what they are talking about. This F1 is the equivalent of an iPhone 6s with a light up case attached to it, a headphone jack splitter, memory card reader and a zoom lens for the camera that’s 1/2 the size of a can of coke. Now that combo right there Clarks is one heck of a high tech convenient piece of hybrid like technology, right? Totally improves the whole experience with an iPhone, doesn’t it?


Bottas well done. Still think Mercedes are toying with everyone. They can poke ????the German Bear???? as much as they want. You won’t get their full beans times until Quali ????in whatever crazy mad clown circus???? format ????they are bringing to the first GP.


@BKF…no need to’ve nailed it.


The STR looks as reliable as the Merc. Is it possible the 2015 spec PU suits their chassis more than it suited Ferrari? And with young Max at the wheel ………

Sorry. Just day dreaming.


I think with young Max at the wheel the STR becomes less reliable. Maybe he won’t crash as much this year?


Now you’re bing a bit unfair there Dren. Apart from his Monaco-mistake (ah, but how exciting the laps leading up to it were!), I think young Max wrote with great intelligence and poise. Mistakes few and far between.

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