Vettel keeps Ferrari ahead in testing

Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:33pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Sebastian Vettel kept Ferrari on top of the Formula One testing timesheets for the second day running on Tuesday even if champions Mercedes again led the mileage charts.

The four-time champion's quickest lap of one minute 22.810 seconds around the Spanish Grand Prix circuit was 0.715 quicker than the next best Red Bull driven by Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

The German's time was nearly two seconds faster than last year's Spanish Grand prix pole time set by Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

Mercedes, who have done the equivalent in mileage of a return road trip from London to Stuttgart already on the first two days, were again way out ahead of the rest with Germany's Rosberg completing 172 laps.

That equated to 801 km -- a record for a single day of testing in the V6 hybrid era that started in 2014 -- and added to the 156 laps (726 km) that triple champion Lewis Hamilton managed on Monday.

"That was an F1 Marathon today," said Rosberg, who wrapped up his day's work before the end of the session.

"It's great to see that we are already able to do a lot of mileage -- and we didn't have a single problem either, which is really incredible."

Vettel, whose team have set their sights on denying Hamilton and Mercedes a third title in a row, did 126 laps but brought out red flags at the end of the day when the Ferrari stopped on the track.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany speeds his new SF16-H F1 car during the first testing session ahead of the upcoming season at the Circuit Catalunya-Barcelona in Montmelo, Spain, February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Perez