Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg gave an ominous warning to his rivals by topping the first day of the second pre-season test on a set of soft tyres.
Rosberg, who drove the W07 during the morning before handing the car to teammate Lewis Hamilton post-lunch, set the Circuit de Catalunya alight with a time of 1:23.022.
The Williams of Valtteri Bottas came within two tenths of Rosberg, albeit on the much quickest ultrasoft tyre, a new introduction for this season.
Fernando Alonso was third in the timesheets for McLaren, with a time of 1:24.735, set on Pirelli’s yellow-marked soft tyre. Alonso lodged 93 laps of the Spanish circuit, although his car came to a halt at the pitlane exit before the end of the morning session.
Reliability issues also hit Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finn managing no more than 70 laps on a day Mercedes secured 172 laps of mileage.
Max Verstappen was the busiest man on track in the newly-liveried Toro Rosso, completing 144 laps - the fastest of which was good enough for seventh place.
Kevin Magnussen was enjoying a decent day in Barcelona until his Renault stopped on track at turn 3, with five minutes left in the day. However, by that time, the Dane had already set the 10th fastest time and accumulated a healthy total of 119 laps.
Felipe Nasr enjoyed a mostly troubled-free day on what was the first track outing for the new Sauber. The Brazilian completed just over 100 laps and was ninth in the timesheets.
After an encouraging opening test, Haas endured a difficult day in Barcelona, with Esteban Gutierrez restricted to just 23 laps in the morning due to a fuel system issue.
Rio Haryanto propped the timesheets with a time of 1:27.625.
by Rachit Thukral