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Massa Impresses; Honda Disapoints On Opening Second Week Test in Spain

Photo by Dan Istitene/ Getty Images
Photo by Dan Istitene/ Getty Images  
by Mark Gero
After achieving what may be the shortest retirement in history, Felipe Massa returned for the second week of the Formula One winter testing session, taking the fastest time of the day with a 1:19:726 and completing an amazing 168 laps in his Williams Tuesday at the Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona, Spain.
Daniel Ricciardo was second in his Red Bull, running on ultra-soft tires, which trailed Massa by only one tenths of a second, considering that Massa himself did his fastest lap on super softs. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, with a 1:19:906 for the same number of laps that Massa achieved. The Prancing Horse though, only ran Vettel on medium and soft compound tires all day, wondering to many how the car would run if it was put on super or ultra-soft compounds. It also is a mystery on how the team can run on fuel loads, and this might be determined in the next few days of this final test of the pre-season.
AMG Mercedes were next in the two following positions, in fourth and fifth, with Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas, respectively. Hamilton drove in the morning, completing only 49 laps before the lunch break, but had complained during this run that his time had been limited by a damaged floor. Bottas took over in the afternoon, and drove with modified side pods and bargeboards.
Frenchman Esteban Ocon kept his improvements moving along, as 142 laps were his total completion of laps, taking sixth. Nico Hulkenberg finally found his pace in his Renault, finishing in seventh with a time of 1:21:859 for 58 laps, after taking over from his teammate Jolyon Palmer. Kevin Magnussen in the Haas and Danii Kvyat in the Toro Rosso were in the next two slots, respectively, with only a tenth of a second between them.
Encountering further problems with their Honda engine, McLaren could only have Stoffel Vandoorne complete 80 laps before returning to the track in the afternoon with a much more improved engine. But Vandoorne could only manage tenth.
The two Sauber drivers followed in 11th and 12th, with Pascal Wehrlein, returning from a back injury and Marcus Ericsson leading the way. Palmer was last in the group, and only took 15 laps due to a precautionary engine check.
Day Two of the second testing week will resume on Wednesday.
 
  
 
FORMULA ONE WINTER TESTING-WEEK TWO, DAY ONE
At Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Final Results
1. Felipe Massa(BRA) – Williams – 1:19.726 – 168 laps
2. Daniel Ricciardo(AUS) – Red Bull – 1:19.900 – 89 laps
3. Sebastian Vettel (GER) – Ferrari – 1:19.906 – 168 laps
4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) – Mercedes – 1:20.456 – 49 laps (morning)
5. Valtteri Bottas (FIN)- Mercedes – 1:20.924 – 86 laps (afternoon)
6. Esteban Ocon (FRA)- Force India – 1:21.347 – 142 laps
7. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) – Renault – 1:21.589 – 58 laps (afternoon)
8. Kevin Magnussen (DEN)- Haas – 1:21.676 – 81 laps
9. Daniil Kvyat (RUS)- Toro Rosso – 1:21.743 – 83 laps
10. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL)- McLaren – 1:22.537 – 80 laps
11. Pascal Wehrlein (GER)- Sauber – 1:23.336 – 47 laps (morning)
12. Marcus Ericsson (SWE)- Sauber – 1:23.360 – 53 laps (afternoon)
13. Jolyon Palmer (GBR)- Renault – 1:24.790 – 15 laps (morning)
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Mark Gero has written formula one racing stories since 2002 on the Internet for such sites as Motorsport.com, Racing Information Service News and for a brief time at the Munich Eye newspaper in Munich, Germany along with Autoweek online. Mark also has a diploma in journalism from the London School of Journalism in London, England and in addition a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa.