F1: Grosjean tops the times. Hamilton crashes.
Lewis Hamilton’s career as a Mercedes driver got off to the worst possible start on Wednesday, as he ended the second day of the Jerez test in the barriers following a brake problem.
The accident continued a rotten test for the German team following Nico Rosberg’s electrical problem on Tuesday which cost him most of the session. While the problems may not be indicative of an unreliable car, the lack of time on track will only hinder the car’s development – Hamilton’s 15 laps meaning Mercedes have completed just 26 laps in the first two days of testing.
Prior to the incident, Hamilton – running Wednesday and Friday – showed glimpses of promise for the Brackley-based outfit, setting a time of 1:19.519, over a second faster than team-mate Rosberg managed in his curtailed session on Tueday.
Fastest overall on Wednesday was Romain Grosjean with a 1:18.218, the quickest time of the test so far. While there isn’t a great deal to be read into lap times at this early stage in pre-season testing, the pace shown and number of laps completed over the two days for Grosjean will provide reason for cheer in the Renault camp.
Paul di Resta again impressed, taking the second fastest time of the day, ahead of the Australian pair of Daniel Ricciado and Mark Webber. Felipe Massa was eighth as Ferrari focused on testing new components, just behind Sergio Perez, who made his first outing in new team McLaren, ending the day 0.7 seconds off team-mate Jenson Button’s Tuesday time.
There was a short appearance at the end of the session for Force India’s new test driver – former Honda test-driver James Rossiter – who took over from fellow Brit di Resta to complete a handful of laps.
Another new face was Brazil’s Luiz Razia, confirmed as Max Chilton’s partner at Marussia and straight into the car, finishing the day a couple of seconds adrift of eleventh placed Giedo van der Garde.
DAY TWO FASTEST TIMES
1. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus-Renault 1:18.218
2. Paul di Resta (GB) Force India-Mercedes 1:19.003
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:19.134
4. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:19.338
5. Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.502
6. Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:19.519
7. Sergio Perez (Mex) McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.572
8 Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:19.914
9. Pastor Maldonado* (Ven) Williams-Renault 1:20.693
10 James Rossiter (GB) Force India-Mercedes 1:21.273
10. Giedo van der Garde (Ned) Caterham-Renault 1:21.311
12 Luiz Razia (Brz) Marussia-Cosworth 1:23.53
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