The second and final day of in-season testing at Barcelona in 2015 saw Lotus’ Jolyon Palmer secure a mini victory, finishing the day fastest after a late effort on the supersoft tyre saw him usurp Mercedes’ pilot for the day, Pascal Wehrlein. After missing yesterday’s running, in which he was billed to drive at Force India, due to illness, the German recorded 137 laps, once again underlining the reliability of the W06. It has been a great week for Mercedes in general – but then again – its been a great season so far…
Productivity was once again ubiquitous. Williams stand out as the least traveled outfit, but this is typical of their testing programme’s. Alex Lynn earned his first opportunity to drive for the team, having being appointed as their development driver over the winter. The Briton, who is reigning GP3 champion, certainly relished the experience, taking to Twitter this evening and commenting; “Loved every second!!”
Not only was the reining GP3 champion in action today, but the GP2 champion was also behind the wheel. Jolyon Palmer, Lotus reserve driver, clocked 87 laps in the E23 – a car which he has become familiar with over the past few weeks, appearing in FP1 at China, Bahrain and last weekend in Spain. On a circuit he is in tune with and in a car he knows so well, equipped with supersoft rubber, the top spot was a ‘slam-dunk,’ to coin an phrase.
Elsewhere, Esteban Gutierrez had is first taste of the SF15-T, taking to the track in Scuderia red for the very first time. The Mexican ran with many of the parts used by Kimi Raikkonen during qualifying as Ferrari looked to evaluate the catalogue of upgrades which they introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend. A 119 lap return should serve them well.
As predicted, Pierre Gasly ends the test as the most prolific lap completer. His tally of 75 today driving the Red Bull RB11, was significantly lower than the 131 he recorded yesterday. However, a total of 206 laps over the course of two days will be hugely valuable to the Frenchman. Could it even boost his GP2 title charge? In all honesty, Stoffel Vandoorne’s competitors will need a boost or two between now and November.
but that is a story for another day.