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Grosjean fastest during second day of testing at Jerez, Hamilton crashes

By Berthold Bouman

Grosjean fastest during second day of testing at Jerez, Hamilton crashes - Photo: Lotus F1Romain Grosjean set the fastest time for Lotus today during the second day of testing at Jerez, the Frenchman put a fastest lap of 1m18.218 on the clock with the new Lotus E21. Paul di Resta was second for Force India, while Daniel Ricciardo took a surprise third place with the Toro Rosso STR8.

Grosjean was optimistic after two test days, “For me, the whole test has gone well which bodes well for the year ahead. My feeling in the car is good and it was great to be at the top of the times. Even if it doesn’t mean anything during testing, it’s still good to be at the front.”

Romain Grosjean leaves the Lotus garage in the E21 - Photo: Lotus F1

Romain Grosjean leaves the Lotus garage in the E21 – Photo: Lotus F1

A productive day for di Resta and Force India, the Scot completed 95 laps, and he commented, “We got through the programme without any issues. We did some more good aero work this morning and then tried some set-up changes on the car.”

And he added, “Testing is a good chance to make bigger changes than you would make during a race weekend and that’s allowed us to really see how they affect the car and has given us valuable data on tyre performance. The handling of the car so far is good and I’m feeling comfortable after two days in the car.”

In the afternoon Force India reserve driver James Rossiter took over the wheel from di Resta, and he finished the day in tenth place.

Paul di Resta second fastest for Force India today - Photo: Force india

Paul di Resta second fastest for Force India today – Photo: Force India

Of course Toro Rosso’s Ricciardo was very pleased with today’s result, “A few more laps today and a bit of a clearer picture of what the STR8 is like. We completed our programme, with short runs in the morning and longer ones in the afternoon.”

And Toro Rosso of course also tested the Pirellis today, “We also tried the medium Pirelli, having only used the hard yesterday, so at least for this circuit, we have established a good compare of the two compounds.”

Mark Webber was fourth in the Red Bull RB9 after he completed 101 laps, almost the race distance of two Grands Prix, but he was over a second slower than pace-setter Grosjean.

Nico Hulkenberg was fifth for Sauber and he was positive about his Sauber debut, “For the second day in a row it was pretty successful. We went through a lot of test items and did a comparison of the compounds — soft, medium and hard — which was quite interesting. Otherwise I was able to continue my familiarisation with the car and I did some long runs. Like yesterday, it was a positive day.”

Plenty of drama for Mercedes in Jerez - Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Plenty of drama for Mercedes in Jerez – Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Not a good day for Lewis Hamilton, who crashed after 30 minutes in the Mercedes W04. He ploughed through the gravel trap and ended up in the barrier at Turn 6. He was unhurt but the car sustained quite some damage. Not a good start for Mercedes, as the car caught fire yesterday, the fire was caused by a faulty wiring loom.

Hamilton was sidelined for the rest of the day as Mercedes were trying to locate the problem, it later emerged a brake line to the right-rear calliper had broken. Hamilton commented on his unfortunate Mercedes debut, “These things happen and it’s all part of testing. Of course, it’s better that we get these small issues out of the way sooner rather than later, and the guys are working really hard to overcome them.”

About the W04 he said, “From the few short laps that I completed this morning, my general feeling was very positive. I got a good understanding of where the base of the car is and, whilst we need to do work in certain areas, it was good to have some laps to get a feel for what those areas are. I’ve told the guys that we just need to keep pushing and I know that we all will be doing that.”

A bit of a disappointment was Sergio Perez’s debut for McLaren, he finished the day in seventh place with the MP4-28, yesterday his team colleague Jenson Button took the fastest time of the day for McLaren.

Felipe Massa was kind of invisible today, but he duly lapped the circuit and finally finished the day in eighth place with the Ferrari F138.

Williams encountered a clutch problem this morning, but it was quickly fixed and the Grove-based team today concentrated on the Pirelli tyres, Maldonado was ninth fastest today, “We did some good running this afternoon going through our planned tests but there is still a lot to do to understand the tyres even better.”

Giedo van der Garde in the CT03 - Photo: Caterham F1

Giedo van der Garde in the CT03 – Photo: Caterham F1

Giedo van der Garde was 11th in the Caterham today, he also tested the Pirellis. “In the morning session we ran through a number of aero programs and then switched to comparing setup options on a variety of the tyre compounds. I think we found a good direction in the last run in the afternoon so now the team can keep making progress in the next two days,” he commented.

And 12th and last was Luiz Razia, who jumped straight into the Marussia MR02 after the Anglo-Russian team confirmed earlier today the Brazilian had joined the team. Unfortunately he still needs some time to get used to the car, as he was 5.319 seconds slower than pace-setter Grosjean.

Jerez testing times – Day 2 – February 6

Pos  Driver                Team          Time                 Laps
 1.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus         1m18.218              95
 2.  Paul di Resta         Force India   1m19.003   + 0.785    95
 3.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso    1m19.134   + 0.916    83
 4.  Mark Webber           Red Bull      1m19.338   + 1.120   101
 5.  Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber        1m19.502   + 1.284    99
 6.  Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes      1m19.519   + 1.301    15
 7.  Sergio Perez          McLaren       1m19.572   + 1.354    81
 8.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari       1m19.914   + 1.696    78
 9.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams      1m20.693   + 2.475    71
10.  James Rossiter        Force India   1m21.273   + 3.055    19
11.  Giedo van der Garde   Caterham      1m21.311   + 3.093    88
12.  Luiz Razia            Marussia      1m23.537   + 5.319    31

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