Carlos Sainz Jr. ensured McLaren made it back-to-back days at the top of the timesheets in the second Formula 1 pre-season test as Ferrari hit problems. 

The Spaniard posted the fastest time seen so far in testing on the morning of the second day of the second winter test in Barcelona and remained quickest when his C4-shod 1m17.144 benchmark went unchallenged in the afternoon. 

It marked an encouraging day for McLaren, with Sainz also at the joint-top of the mileage charts, racking up a total of 130 laps in his MCL34 as he finished seven tenths clear of Racing Point driver Sergio Perez, who improved thanks to a late run on the C4 compound. 

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Following a strong opening test, Ferrari encountered its first major problem of pre-season testing in Barcelona. 

After a cooling system issue had limited Charles Leclerc’s progress on Tuesday, further issues occurred on Wednesday morning as a mechanical failure sent Vettel into a hefty crash at Turn 3. 

While Vettel escaped the incident unharmed, his SF90 was “very damaged” in the impact, consigning the team to a thorough investigation throughout the afternoon in a bid to work out what had caused his mysterious off. 

It meant Leclerc was unable to complete his planned programme in the afternoon and lost further track time ahead of his first season as a Ferrari driver, as the Scuderia logged its lowest lap total of the entire winter test so far. Leclerc briefly appeared for a single installation lap in the final 10 minutes but that proved to be the extent of his running. 

Vettel’s best C3 effort from the morning was still enough to see him finish third in the order, ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, who turned in a late salvo to shoot up to fourth - a tenth behind his former Ferrari teammate on the faster C4 compound.

Haas enjoyed a more consistent day following the reliability gremlins which hindered its first test as Romain Grosjean completed over 100 laps on his way to sealing the fifth-best time, with the Frenchman finding gains on a fresh set of C5 tyres late on. 

Red Bull had switched its focus onto long runs in the afternoon, but a spin heading into the final complex of corners disrupted Max Verstappen’s running. The Dutchman was able to escape the gravel and seek refuge in the pitlane, before re-emerging in the closing stages on his way to sixth. 

Seventh place went the way of Daniil Kvyat, with the Toro Rosso driver heading the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who totalled an impressive 176 laps between them as the reigning world champion outfit recovered from its lack of running on Tuesday afternoon. 

Nico Hulkenberg took over driving duties from Renault teammate Daniel Ricciardo - who propped up the timesheets - in the afternoon and exceeded a half-century of laps in 10th, while 11th-placed Robert Kubica completed 130 laps as Williams continued to play catch up following its delayed start to testing. 



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