Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on the second day of Formula 1 testing in Spain, as Mercedes’ moveable steering wheel captured the attention.
Raikkonen used Pirelli’s C5 tyres to set a time of 1:17.091 during the final hour, dislodging long-term pacesetter Sergio Perez.
Raikkonen caused the first red flag of testing – and only stoppage of the day – when his C39 came to a halt exiting Turn 7 with 17 minutes remaining.
But most of the attention on Thursday’s test day was diverted onto Mercedes’ W11, after TV footage captured Lewis Hamilton moving the steering wheel back and forth along the two Barcelona straights.
The movements affected the toe of the front tyres, raising speculation over its legality, with Mercedes technical chief James Allison emphasising his belief that the system – labelled Dual Axis Steering – is within the regulations.
Hamilton finished ninth, setting his best time on the C1s, while afternoon driver Valtteri Bottas finished at the foot of the timesheets, with his running curtailed by an electrical problem.
Over at Ferrari Sebastian Vettel finally got his first taste of the SF1000 after sitting out Wednesday’s planned running due to illness.
Vettel took over from Charles Leclerc for the afternoon session and classified sixth, behind Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo – who caused a slight delay by sustaining floor damage over a kerb – Red Bull’s Alexander Albon and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.
George Russell continued Williams’ encouraging start to testing as he classified seventh, between the Ferrari drivers, while Lando Norris rounded out the top 10 for McLaren.
Romain Grosjean spun into the Turn 4 gravel late on – lightly tagging the barrier with the rear wing – but recovered to the pit lane for repairs, without the session needing to be stopped.
Renault’s Esteban Ocon took over from Ricciardo for the afternoon session and classified 12th.
Track action will resume at 09:00 local time on Friday.
|1||K. Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:17.091||134||C3|
|2||S. Perez||Racing Point||1:17.347||0.256||145||C3|
|4||A. Albon||Red Bull||1:17.912||0.821||134||C2|