Nico Hulkenberg impressive in Force India !!!Nico Hulkenberg topped the timesheets on the second day of testing at Barcelona with a new fastest lap time of 1:22.608.Hulkenberg's time came during a low-fuel run in the morning session and left him just ahead of Sergio Perez's Sauber, with his best being 1:22.648.
Hulkenberg focussed on longer runs in the afternoon, as did Perez but an exhaust problem caused Sauber to halt its running until the final five minutes. Sebastian Vettel was third having been top for most of the morning, and he was one of five drivers to break the 100-lap barrier after completing a race simulation in the afternoon. His long running was punctuated by a number of pit stops.
After spending the morning working on different exhaust configurations Fernando Alonso improved his time to a 1:23.180 in the afternoon, the fourth fastest of the day. That put him ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who caused two red flags during the day. The first did not keep him in the garage for very long but the second came when the car stopped at the end of the pit lane soon after lunch, with a drive shaft problem confining Ricciardo to the pits until the final few minutes of the day.
Lewis Hamilton was the most productive driver of the day as he completed 120 laps for the sixth fastest time. McLaren also appeared to be running a race simulation and there was some excitement as Hamilton held off Vettel on worn medium tyres for a number of laps during the middle of the afternoon. Eventually the Red Bull found a way past and pulled away, with Hamilton focusing on his own programme.
Seventh was Nico Rosberg, who enjoyed a productive morning in the W03 but wasn't seen during the final three hours of the day. Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas was eighth quickest and showed good consistency in his lap times as he clocked up 117 laps. His time of 1:25.738 was 0.8s quicker than Vitaly Petrov who struggled with his seat position on his first day in the Caterham. Charles Pic again covered over 100 laps in the 2011 Marussia, and he improved his best lap from Tuesday by 0.7s as he continues to gain experience with the team.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:22.608 112 2. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:22.648 +0.040 85 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:22.891 +0.283 104 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:23.180 +0.572 87 5. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.639 +1.031 48 6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:23.806 +1.198 120 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.555 +1.947 82 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.738 +3.130 117 9. Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:26.605 +3.997 69 10. Charles Pic Marussia 1:27.343 +4.735 108