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Barcelona F1 Pre-season Test [1]: Vettel lights up times with new ultra-soft Pirelli

Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have set the timesheet alight on the morning of the second day of F1 pre-season testing with the new ultra-soft Pirellis.
Click here for full morning results on day two of the first test in Barcelona

Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo have set the timesheet alight on the morning of the second day of F1 pre-season testing as the pair unleashed the purple-banded ultra-soft Pirelli tyres for the first time.

After a calm start to the morning on a cold track Nico Rosberg led proceedings on his maiden outing with the Mercedes W07 until both Ferrari and Red Bull introduced the red super softs for the first time in 2016.

The pair duly began trading fastest lap times in the final 45 minutes and quickly surpassed Rosberg's pole position time of 1m 24.681s from last year's Spanish Grand Prix. After breaking into the 1m 23s barrier both Ferrari and Red Bull switched on to the new purple-banded ultra-softs for some qualifying-style runs.

Vettel, who also topped the opening day, made the first impression on the new tyre with a blistering 1m 22.810s and despite chipping away at his own personal time Ricciardo failed to match the performance of the Ferrari SF16-H, ending the session seven-tenths back.

Despite losing ground on his rivals by sticking to the white medium Pirelli compounds, Rosberg will be satisfied with his morning's work by completing 81 laps with the fastest time of 1m 24.867s – over half a second quicker than his team-mate Lewis Hamilton's best time on the opening day.

The morning session was very briefly halted after Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso came to a stop on track at turn 13 and need a recovery truck to return it to the garage. Toro Rosso is still investigating the issue but it wasn't terminal as Verstappen returned to track action after 45 minutes in the pits.

Sergio Perez enjoyed a productive debut morning in the VJM09 after taking over from Alfonso Celis for Force India. Today is Perez's only day driving in the opening test and ended the session fourth overall with 48 laps on the board.

Ericsson in the 2015 Sauber continued with his progress to take fifth overall, one-tenth ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the new Williams challenger.

Pascal Wehrlein made another slow start in the Mercedes-powered MRT by eventually lifted himself into seventh with his fastest lap of the test so far, a 1m 25.925s.

Jolyon Palmer and Renault have clearly shaken off its software gremlins after posting 41 laps, more than his total from all of day one's action, to sit eighth while Haas and Esteban Gutierrez got to work on the new front wing solution after Romain Grosjean suffered a dramatic failure yesterday.

Despite setting the second-highest number of timed laps with 69 circulations, Fernando Alonso ended the morning a lowly 10th on the time and only ahead of the faulty Toro Rosso.

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February 23, 2016 12:27 PM

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