F1 winter testing day 2 report: Have Mercedes raised the bar again with new part?

20-02-2020 17:00 | Updated: 20-02-2020 17:01
by Matt Gretton
General
F1 winter testing day 2 report: Have Mercedes raised the bar again with new part?

Kimi Raikkonen and Alfa Romeo topped the timesheets at the conclusion of the second test day, but the main story lies with Mercedes. The onboard cameras picked up an innovative method which Lewis Hamilton was using on Thursday morning. The British driver completed 106 laps around Barcelona and recorded the ninth-best time of the day. 

With just 15 minutes left of the session, Raikkonen caused the first red flag of winter testing in 2020. So close to finishing two full days without a stoppage. Romain Grosjean nearly caused the first red flags 30 minutes earlier, but he saved his sideways trip across the gravel with a small tap on the wall. However, the Haas man did complete the most laps out of any driver with 158. 

Sebastian Vettel recorded his first laps in the new Ferrari after he swapped schedules with Charles Leclerc yesterday due to illness. The German spent 

Mercedes steering wheel 

Eagle-eyed viewers noticed on Thursday morning that Hamilton was moving his steering wheel forwards and back whilst driving around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and the legality of the new system was immediately questioned. 

Most teams down the pitlane were looking on their TVs trying to analyse what the World Champion was doing and how it was affecting the car. In a press conference, James Vowles expressed his confidence in the legality of the system. 

Valtteri Bottas ended Mercedes' day early due to an electrical fault. 

Elsewhere

Sergio Perez demonstrated some great pace in the Pink Panther, once again being at the top end of the time tally. He led the way for the majority of the day. Daniel Ricciardo only managed to record 41 laps but did post the third quickest time. 

McLaren and Williams were the last two cars out of the garage, but they managed to record plenty of mileage eventually. 

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