Racing Point’s Sergio Perez continued the team’s eye-catching start to 2020 as he went quickest on the morning of the second day of testing, while Mercedes’ steering wheel trickery created intrigue.
Mercedes led a 1-2 on Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Perez third, and on Thursday morning the Mexican clocked a time of 1:17.347.
It left the Racing Point driver 0.402s clear of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the four-hour session, in which – as per Wednesday – there were no red flags.
The greatest intrigue of the morning came courtesy of Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton appearing to move the steering wheel of the W11 back and forwards along the straight, affecting the toe of the front tyres.
It has yet to be determined whether the system contravenes the Formula 1 regulations, or whether any rivals will protest such a device.
Hamilton finished the morning session in seventh place, 10.40s behind Perez, as he completed the most mileage, amassing 106 laps.
Red Bull Racing’s Alexander Albon got his first taste of the RB16 and wound up third, in front of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly – who had a tame out-lap spin at Turn 9 – and Williams’ George Russell.
Charles Leclerc was sixth for Ferrari, in front of the aforementioned Hamilton, with Haas’ Romain Grosjean, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren’s Lando Norris completing the running order.
All 10 teams were separated by less than 1.2s across the course of the session, mirroring Wednesday’s close classification.
Thursday afternoon’s session will begin at 14:00 and run through 18:00.
|1||S. Perez||Racing Point||1:17.347||48||C3|
|3||A. Albon||Red Bull||1:18.155||0.808||59||C2|
|9||K. Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:18.508||1.161||65||C3|