Jenson Button (McLaren)

F1: Day1 in Barcelona, Honda continues to narrow gap with rivals despite experiencing some issues

The second pre-season test of Formula 1 kicked off on February 19 at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

Including Force India, there are nine teams that will be participating at this pre-season testing. There were rumors that a new machine will be making its debut, but the team brought its 2014 VJM07 instead.

Jenson Button drove the McLaren-Honda on the first day of testing. He ran 21 laps in the morning and logged the fastest time of 1:28.182. With a 0.8-second gap against its rival in the morning, McLaren-Honda showed remarkable progress compared to the last test. However, in the afternoon, the team experienced issues with the power unit’s kinetic energy recovery system called the MGU-K. Hence, McLaren-Honda was forced to end their tests early. The final results for Day One show that McLaren-Honda is only three seconds behind the fastest time; hence, it appears that the team is steadily advancing its preparations for the season opening.

Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) logged the fastest time with 1:25.011. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) logged second-fastest, only 0.1-second behind Maldonado. Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) logged third-fastest.

The 2014 champion Lewis Hamilton, in charge of driving the Mercedes on the first day, withdrew from testing in the morning due to illness. Test driver Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes’ reserve driver, was able to log 48 laps. Pascal Wehrlein was slated to test drive Force India’s machine, which uses the same Mercedes engine; hence, he test drove for two teams on the first day of the pre-season testing in Barcelona.

2015 F1 Day One of Pre-season Test in Barcelona
1. Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) 1:25.011 (69 laps)
2. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:25.167 (74 laps)
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:25.547 (59 laps)
4. Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:26.547 (34 laps)
5. Felipe Nasr (Sauber)1:27.307 (79 laps)
6. Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 1:27.900 (94 laps)
7. Jenson Button (McLaren)1:28.182 (21 laps)
8. Pascal Wehrlein (Force India) 1:28.329 (32 laps)
9. Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes) 1:28.489 (48 laps)
10. Susie Wolff (Williams)1:28.906 (86 laps)
11. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:30.429 (11 laps)

(Translated by Katherine N. Bantiles)