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Circuit de Catalunya - 2013 Testing Day 2: Grosjean pips Button to set pace

603   //    02 Mar 2013, 08:29 IST

Romain Grosjean clocked the fastest time on day two of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on Friday. The French Lotus driver (who recorded his best lap on soft tyres in the afternoon session) became the first man to top the timesheets more than once this year, having previously set the quickest time on day two of the first 2013 test at Jerez.

Rain overnight meant that the teams were faced with a wet track to start with in the morning. Although it dried an hour or so before lunch, the cold temperatures meant conditions were never ideal for the teams. Nevertheless, Grosjean managed a 1:22.716 in the afternoon on soft tyres to finish the day 0.465s ahead of Jenson Button (who also improved on his best time in the afternoon session).

Pastor Maldonado was third fastest as he managed a 1:23.628 just before the rain hit in the final half hour. Reigning world champions Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull set the fourth-quickest time of the day. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was fifth, with the recently-appointed Adrian Sutil showing strong form on his way to sixth for Force India.

Daniel Ricciardo was seventh fastest in the Toro Rosso, just a tenth faster than Max Chilton’s Marussia. Chilton was in the car again despite being scheduled to split it with Luiz Razia. Later in the evening it was released that Razia was being replaced by Jules Bianchi (who has been a reserve driver for both Ferrari and Force India).

Giedo van der Garde was ninth fastest despite causing a late red flag. It was the third of the day after Ricciardo stopped early in the morning and Grosjean came to a halt just before lunch, while a late stoppage from Maldonado ensured the session finished under red flag.

The bottom two drivers on the timesheet were Mercedes‘ Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who were both concentrating on longer runs. They both completed race simulations during the afternoon when the track conditions were at their best.

DriverCarBest timeLaps
1.Romain GrosjeanLotus E211:22.71688
2.Jenson ButtonMcLaren MP4-281:23.18172
3.Pastor MaldonadoWilliams FW341:23.62874
4.Sebastian VettelRed Bull RB91:23.74365
5.Nico HulkenbergSauber C321:23.74479
6.Adrian SutilForce India VMJ061:24.21562
7.Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso STR81:25.48361
8.Max ChiltonMarussia MR021:25.59875
9.Giedo van der GardeCaterham CT031:26.31648
10.Nico RosbergMercedes W041:26.655120
11.Fernando AlonsoFerrari F1381:27.878102

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