D you have a cold first week of testing left the teams behind. Fortunately, at the start of the second half of the winter test drives, the weather in Barcelona was much friendlier. With peak temperatures of 17 ° C and constant sunshine, the teams found perfect conditions for their test drives. Only the gusty wind made life a little difficult for the pilots.
The best way to start the second week of testing was Sebastian Vettel. In the morning, the vice world champion drove a lap in 1: 20.396 minutes on medium tires, which was the best time of the day. Ferrari fans shouldn't react too euphorically. On Thursday Lewis Hamilton was more than a second faster in his weekly best time - also on medium tires.
Mercedes and Ferrari bulletproof
At the beginning of the second week of testing, Mercedes took things a little more slowly. Valtteri Bottas stayed two tenths behind Vettel in the morning, and Hamilton four tenths in the afternoon - both on soft tires. That was enough for places two and four in the overall ranking. The engineers were somewhat concerned about the blistering that was clearly visible from the outside with the soft compound on the rear axle.
Max Verstappen in the Red Bull slipped between the silver drivers Vettel brand. Incidentally, he was also out and about on medium type rubbers. However, the good daily Red Bull balance was tarnished by a battery defect an hour and a half before the end of the session. Verstappen had rolled out on Turn 1, making for one of fourInterruptions.
Only a quarter of an hour before the end the Red Bull showed up briefly on the track. With 130 laps, however, Verstappen easily got into the three-digit range. But he didn't come close to Vettel's 171 laps. The Heppenheimer secured the best value in the distance ranking. Just like Ferrari, Mercedes was bulletproof at this early point in the season. Hamilton and Bottas did 177 laps together.
McLaren is struggling with problems
At the other end of the reliability scale is McLaren after the fifth of eight days of testing. Despite the switch from Honda to Renault, the eye-catching papaya racer hid in the garage for much of the day. The MCL33 bucked right from the first round of installation. Stoffel Vandoorne rolled out in the pit lane and had to be pushed the last few meters by his mechanics.
On the second run after a good hour, the car simply switched off due to a battery problem on the home straight. The next attempt could only be started shortly before the lunch break. But two hours before the end of the session, Vandoorne was again to blame for an interruption. After the hydraulic pressure had dropped, we went back to the pits on the truck bed.
Other teams also struggled with technology on Monday: Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly surprised with the fifth-fastest time in the morning , but didn't show up on the track in the afternoon due to braking problems. Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who had the sixth best time recorded, was slowed down by a broken underbody and hybrid problems.
Round diet for Hülkenberg
Nico Hülkenberg also didn't get through the meeting unscathed. A suspected transmission problem in the morning turned out to be a sensor fault. The sensors also played a trick on the engineers on the rear axle. And then the setup didn't fit either. The Rhinelander only had 48 laps before the lunch break. After the interruption, Hülk had to hand over the car to team mate Carlos Sainz, who covered almost twice the distance.
We don't want to go unmentioned at Sauber either. The C37 moved out in the morning with some update parts - including a new front wing. Using a measuring grid and green FloViz paint, the technicians checked whether the component on the route was delivering the data calculated in the wind tunnel. Although the team spoke of noticeable progress, Marcus Ericsson did not get past 10th place. After all, the Swede was one of only three drivers to make it over the 100-lap mark.
In the gallery we show you the pictures of the day again.