Massa quickest as F1 returns to the track

Date published: March 7 2017

Formula 1 has returned to the test arena with Felipe Massa fastest on the opening morning of the second and final test.

On a sunny morning in Spain, the Formula 1 drivers took to the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona to begin the final four-day outing.

Massa claimed the morning’s honours with a 1:19.726, which he set on Pirelli’s supersoft tyres.

That time put him just 0.021s short of Valtteri Bottas’s best from the opening week, a time that the Mercedes driver posted on the ultrasofts.

It was a morning in which Red Bull finally showed some pace as Daniel Ricciardo clocked the team’s best lap time of the pre-season, a 1:19.900, on the ultrasofts.

Last week’s protagonists Mercedes and Ferrari were third and fourth with Lewis Hamilton six-tenths up on Sebastian Vettel. Vettel, who stuck to the medium tyres, was the busiest driver out on track with 82 laps to his name.

The same cannot be said of Stoffel Vandoorne or Jolyon Palmer.

It was another dismal morning for McLaren-Honda as Vandoorne managed just 34 laps before his MCL32 was pushed back into the garage where it remained for at least two hours.

According to reports, it is yet another issue with the Honda power unit and it could be a few hours for the Belgian racer returns to the action.

It wasn’t any better over at Renault with Palmer amassing just 15 laps.

A late improvement from Pascal Wehrlein in the final hour before lunch saw the Sauber driver leapfrog Palmer to move off the very bottom of the timesheets.

Unofficial times
1 Felipe Massa Williams 1:19.726 67 laps
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:19.900 52 laps
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.456 49 laps
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:21.127 82 laps
5 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:21.347 59 laps
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:21.676 48 laps
7 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:21.965 45 laps
8 Stoffel Vandoore McLaren 1:22.698 34 laps
9 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:23.336 47 laps
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:24.790 15 laps