Ferrari had another outing to remember in Barcelona, as Sebastian Vettel topped the leaderboard on Day 2 of pre-season testing with a lap time of one minute, 22.810 seconds.
The four-time world champion ended on a glum note after his Ferrari signalled a red flag toward the evening finish, but he'll care little for such details after racking up 126 laps on the ultrasoft tyres.
Nico Rosberg enjoyed a substantial stint in the new Mercedes W07 on Tuesday. After Lewis Hamilton impressed on Monday, the German got 172 laps under his belt by the end of proceedings—more than any other driver out on the track.
Here’s a look at Day 2's fastest times, per the official Formula 1 Twitter account:
Vettel maintained a 100 per cent record at pre-season testing after finishing faster than any of his foes in Barcelona on Tuesday, with second-place Daniel Ricciardo almost a second slower than the German.
Ferrari aren't wasting time as they look to improve upon last season, either, and Sky Sports reported Vettel's Tuesday time of 1:22.810 is within a 10th-of-a-second of the fastest time seen during last year's pre-season testing.
The manufacturers have stepped up their games, and so has Sergio Perez, it seems, after he finished just behind Red Bull's Ricciardo to place third, notching 101 laps of his own.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso wasn't quite as quick and finished ninth with a time of 1:26.082, but the Spaniard merely appeared content to get 119 laps on the board, per his official Instagram account:
It's been a year since Alonso crashed in last year's pre-season testing and was airlifted to a hospital from Jerez, and that puts into context precisely how difficult even something like practice such as this can be.
It was a disappointing day for Renault's Jolyon Palmer, though, who recorded only 42 laps before "power unit issues" put an end to his testing session:
The Briton still managed to place ahead of Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen, who finished 11th after rounding the track in a fastest time of 1:26.755 but seemed delighted nonetheless:
Rightly so, perhaps, given only three other drivers on Tuesday managed to beat his tally of 121 laps, some hugely valuable experience for the 18-year-old who's about to embark on just his second Formula 1 season as a full-time driver.
Vettel and Ferrari will look to keep imposing their marks on pre-season testing, where all the signs continue to point toward that team leading a charge on Mercedes' throne in 2016.
As we can see here, courtesy of the F1 Twitter feed, it was an encouraging beginning to the day for the Mercedes and Ferrari teams:
For the second successive morning, it was Vettel who topped the time sheets, as he debuted the Pirelli super-soft tyres for a quick burst before lunch.
The result was an impressive time of 1:22.810, propelling the German to the top of the standings; it was substantially quicker than his best effort in the morning on Monday, which clocked in at 1:24.939, although that was on the medium compound.
As we can see here, Ricciardo also had a go on the purple-trimmed tyre, but he was unable to get close to his former Red Bull team-mate:
It's also worth noting that of all laps done on the medium compound, Vettel was also the quickest, with Sky Sports F1 noting his best on that tyre was 1:23.658.
While Ferrari showed encouraging pace for the second day in a row, Mercedes seemed keen to get laps, time in the car and plenty of data from their runs. Indeed, Rosberg obliged, too, as he posted a huge 81 laps in the morning session alone. His fastest time on the medium compound was around two seconds slower than Vettel’s best overall mark.
The team’s official Twitter feed paid tribute to the efforts of their driver, whom you suspect will be tasked with getting through a similar amount of work in the afternoon; Hamilton completed a mammoth 156 laps on Monday:
Based solely on the laps put in, it was also a good morning for McLaren, who were only bettered by Mercedes in the amount of distance done. Indeed, after some troubles for Jenson Button on Monday, Alonso was able to get the MP-431 running consistently, although only Toro Rosso were slower out on the track.
Indeed, it was a pretty miserable session for Verstappen, who not only finished bottom of the standings, but he caused the only red flag, too, as his Toro Rosso ground to a halt after completing 35 laps.