Red Bull remained on top on day two of the final winter test at Barcelona, as World Champion Sebastian Vettel gave another impressive demonstration of his team's 2011 pace.
After Mark Webber's time-sheet-topping run yesterday, Vettel swiftly moved to the head of the order this morning, and then put in a blistering 1m21.865sec time at the start of a five-lap stint.
Though Vettel's pace swiftly dropped off, his initial lap was 0.7sec quicker than anyone had managed in Barcelona testing so far, and he would dip into low-1m21sec again on several other short stints. In the afternoon, he focused mainly on long runs, doing a pair of 16-lap outings in which his times averaged 1m28sec before fading.
It was a 1-2 for Red Bull-owned teams, as Toro Rosso continued its encouraging winter with second place for Sebastien Buemi. His best time of 1m22.396sec came on an afternoon qualifying-style run, and followed a very respectable race simulation in the morning. He also managed to complete 120 laps despite stopping on track and causing a red flag mid-afternoon, and went through a dozen consecutive practice pit stops at the end of the day.
Renault's Vitaly Petrov followed a similar schedule, and earned his third place with a 1m22.670sec at the start of a four-lap stint before switching to long runs. He caused the session to end slightly early when he stopped at Turn 6 and prompted a final red flag.
It was another very tough day for McLaren. A hydraulic leak and then two exhaust issues interrupted Lewis Hamilton's morning, forcing the team to abandon a planned race simulation. He later got up to fourth on a single-lap, qualifying-style run in the afternoon.
Ferrari was back in fifth with Felipe Massa as it introduced a new exhaust and some aerodynamic changes, but its form was more encouraging than the result suggested. There were no one-lap-only runs from the Brazilian, whose best time came at the start of a five-lap outing, and on longer runs of around 14 laps his pace often matched Vettel's.
Paul di Resta was in the top three for a while during a morning of testing Force India's qualifying pace, as he quickly bounced back from causing a fuel pressure issue that caused a stoppage. He covered 118 laps by the end of an afternoon of longer runs, taking sixth in the order ahead of Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber.
Mercedes brought a new exhaust and some bodywork upgrades today as well, with more significant changes to follow later in the week. Nico Rosberg's eighth place was a quiet start for the package, though some medium-length stints of around 10 laps averaging in 1m27sec compared well to other teams.
Jarno Trulli was ninth for Lotus, followed by Pastor Maldonado, as a KERS problem severely hampered Williams. The team had to miss most of the morning as a result, and only managed 29 laps later on after disconnecting the energy recovery device.
Virgin's Jerome D'Ambrosio completed the field, 7.1sec off the pace. He also lost some running to an electrical problem.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m21.865s 112
2. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.396s + 0.531s 120
3. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m22.670s + 0.805s 116
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.888s + 1.023s 57
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m23.324s + 1.459s 101
6. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.334s + 2.469s 118
7. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.436s + 2.571s 107
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.807s + 3.942s 100
9. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m26.090s + 4.225s 98
10. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m26.989s + 5.124s 29
11. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m28.982s + 7.117s 64
All timing unofficial