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Barcelona F1 Pre-season Test [2]: Vettel keeps top spot as F1 pre-season concludes

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari will head to the 2016 season opener as timesheet toppers at the end of pre-season testing while Mercedes produces ominous form.
Click here for full results from the final day of F1 pre-season testing

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari will head to the 2016 season opener as timesheet toppers at the end of pre-season testing while the form of Mercedes looks ominous without touching the softer Pirelli tyres.

The final day of the second F1 winter test followed the pattern set from the previous day, with Vettel rolling out of the Ferrari garage with the new halo cockpit protector for his installation lap. After losing the prototype design Vettel got to work on hunting down Hamilton's early pace and with the red-banded supersofts he stormed ahead and went within one-tenth of the fastest overall time from winter, set by his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Despite fights from Carlos Sainz on the new purple ultrasofts and Perez on the supersofts the Ferrari remained fastest with a time that wouldn't be topped in the afternoon with the majority of teams running longer stints and race simulations.

Mercedes resisted the temptation of using the softer rubber and completed its entire winter on the medium and yellow soft tyres. As a result, the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were cut adrift from those on the qualifying rubber.

The reigning F1 champions suffered the first chink in its armour as Lewis Hamilton pulled up with a transmission failure ten minutes before the lunch break.

Elsewhere, Manor recovered from its failure to run any laps in the morning as Haryanto notched up over half a century of laps in the afternoon while Force India suffered its first reliability problem when Perez's day was prematurely halted an hour into the final session after rolling to a stop at turn ten.

To compensate for Gutierrez's lack of running on the first two days of the second test, Haas withdrew Grosjean halfway through the afternoon session to hand the Mexican driver a final blast over the last hour of running.

Both Toro Rosso and Williams enjoyed flawless days by notching up well over a century of laps with Carlos Sainz taking second on the timesheet and Felipe Massa narrowly behind in third.

Red Bull, McLaren, Renault and Sauber opted to focus on long runs as the majority of midfield teams matched one another for race pace which could point towards an intriguing battle for points in Melbourne.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastian Vettel (GER), Scuderia Ferrari  02.03.2016.
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
30.09.2016 - Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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