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Barcelona Final Test, Day Two: Mercedes Clear of the Pack

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Barcelona Final Test, Day Two: Mercedes Clear of the Pack
Feb 27, 2015, 6:24 PM

The phoney war came to an end in Barcelona today as Nico Rosberg topped the time sheets in emphatic style, while there was good news for McLar...

The phoney war came to an end in Barcelona today as Nico Rosberg topped the time sheets in emphatic style, while there was good news for McLaren and Force India.

Just over an hour from the end of the tenth day of pre-season testing Mercedes bolted soft compound Pirellis on Nico Rosberg's car for the first time this winter and the German promptly delivered a time 1.2s faster than the best of the rest led by the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, who also set his time on soft rubber.

It was another impressive display of dominance by the world champions who ran trouble free after yesterday's hybrid system issues and Rosberg completed 106 laps to go with his fastest lap.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain

Bottas managed a clean 90 laps on another strong day for the Grove squad, setting his best time just over an hour before Rosberg. His time was just under half a second slower than team-mate Massa managed at the same point yesterday afternoon.

Felipe Nasr will be very much looking forward to his Grand Prix debut on Sunday fortnight after ending the day third for Sauber.

The Brazilian was fastest of all in the morning and managed a full race simulation, the team's second in consecutive days, in the afternoon. The differential between his fast lap and long runs shows that the Sauber was probably running the lightest for the hot lap.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain

Ferrari have brought a number of new aero parts to Barcelona and began introducing the updates on Friday for Sebastian Vettel to try. The four-time world champion ended the day fourth, his best time coming in the morning.

He ended the day with 143 laps on the board with six of the nine cars in action managing a three-figure lap count.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain

Jenson Button produced the third red flag of the day when his McLaren stopped at turn seven just under 25 minutes from the end of the day.

However, by then the Honda powered machine had managed an amazing 101 laps, almost half the team total from the previous nine days of testing combined and almost double their best single day tally.

While they'll be disappointed not to run trouble free right to the end, the day will have come as a considerable relief and it was complemented by fifth fastest time on soft rubber, 2.798s shy of Rosberg.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain

Pastor Maldonado racked up more miles in the Lotus but the Enstone squad weren't pacesetters on this occasion, ending the day sixth, just clear of Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain

Verstappen ended his day an hour early with an electrical fault but by then the slim 17-year-old had managed an impressive 139 laps in the much modified STR10 with a best time almost four seconds shy of Rosberg's best as he focussed on some impressive long runs and did not set a hot lap on softs, unlike most runners.

Red Bull produced the first red flag of the day mid way through the afternoon when Daniil Kvyat stoped at Turn One with what his team revealed was a precautionary stop to check a hydraulic sensor.

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain

At the bottom of the time sheets were Force India, a team vyiing with McLaren for biggest grins on pit lane having managed to rack up a whopping 77 laps with their brand new VJM08 which hadn't ever turned a wheel until shortly before lunchtime.

Nico Hulkenberg would likely have improved on their 1m28.412s best had Pastor Maldonado caused the final red flag of the day within minutes of the end when his Lotus stopped at the pit lane exit.

Barcelona Final Test - Day Tw0

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes (Soft) 1m22.792s 106 laps

2 Valtteri Bottas Williams (Soft) 1m23.995s +1.203 90

3 Felipe Nasr Sauber (Soft) 1m24.071s +1.279 141

4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari (Soft) 1m25.339s +2.547 143

5 Jenson Button McLaren (Soft) 1m25.590s +2.798 101

6 Pastor Maldonado Lotus (Soft) 1m26.705s +3.913 140

7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso (Medium) 1m26.766s +3.974 139

8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull (Medium) 1m26.965  +4.173 84

9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India (Medium) 1m28.412s +5.620 77

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