Maldonado quickest on final day of Barcelona in-season test
He was fastest in the morning session before improving his quickest lap in the afternoon after a low-fuel run on the super-soft Pirelli tyre. The Venezuelan took over driving the Renault-powered E22 from Charles Pic, who was at the wheel on Tuesday, and completed 102 laps after a largely trouble-free day.
His best time of 1m24.871 was just under one second faster than Nico Rosberg, who finished the day in second place. The German driver completed the same number of laps as Maldonado and had a ‘megaphone’ exhaust fitted to his Mercedes W05 early on as part of a test to try and increase the volume of the new V6 Turbo power-units.
A late move up the order for Rosberg meant Kimi Raikkonen, driving the F14 T for the second consecutive day, slipped to third after completing 93 laps. The Finn’s best lap was 1.6 seconds slower than the leading Lotus.
Esteban Gutierrez was at the wheel of the Ferrari-powered Sauber C33 on Wednesday and managed 84 laps overall, ending the day half a second down on Raikkonen. His running was cut short slightly just prior to the lunch break after a small fire at the rear of his car.
Susie Wolff got her first taste of 2014 F1 machinery on the final day of the second in-season test. She finished fifth fastest overall after a run on the soft compound tyre in the afternoon and managed 55 laps.
Wolff, who will drive the Williams FW36 during first practice for the British and German Grands Prix, could have completed more mileage had it not been for a spin at turn 11 in the morning, which brought out the second red flag of the day.
Max Chilton was fastest on Tuesday after a productive day driving the MR03, but it was a different story for Jules Bianchi on Wednesday. The Frenchman was forced to sit on the sidelines for most of the afternoon thanks to a mechanical problem.
However, he did emerge from the pit lane with 10 minutes to go to put in the sixth quickest time, a 1m27.718, and boosted his overall lap count to 55. Sebastian Vettel had to wait two hours before he took to the track in the morning and slipped to seventh on the timesheets in the final part of the afternoon session.
The four-time world champion completed 72 laps and ended the day 3.1 seconds down on Maldonado’s fastest time. Daniel Juncadella drove for Force India on day two and completed development work with Pirelli.
He brought out two red flags for spins over the course of the day but still managed 91 laps in total. McLaren was the second team to work with F1’s sole tyre supplier on Wednesday, with Stoffel Vandoorne at the wheel of the MP4-29.
It was his first time driving a Formula 1 car and he completed 135 laps in total. Daniil Kvyat, on the other hand, only managed 21 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after stopping on track twice. Meanwhile there was no running from Caterham after the team was forced to pack up early due to a damaged chassis folowing Kamui Kobayashi’s crash on day one.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.