Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport completed 135 laps – just over 628km - of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday, as 2017 pre-season testing continued in Spain with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas taking turns at the wheel of the F1 W08 EQ Power+
Verstappen has developed a reputation for his overtaking prowess during his two years in F1 so far, pulling off several memorable moves in various race conditions. Ahead of F1's move to new-for-2017 regulations, which have increased the cars' speed and downforce, many suggested the new ruleset would make overtaking more sparse.
Using soft compound tyres, Raikkonen set a best time of 1m20.960s just over an hour into Tuesday afternoon's running – narrowly bettering Hamilton's session-topping morning effort of 1m20.983s, which was set using supersofts. Hamilton's effort was still good enough to finish the day second overall, with Valtteri Bottas taking over driving duties for Mercedes for the afternoon.
No one expected that the tests would come so thick and fast though, with the team resorting to various solutions as it ran through it planned schedule on day one, putting in 79 laps with Bottas and 73 with Hamilton. Here is the Mercedes running a relatively short shark fin configuration in combination with the T-Wing.
The issue of bodywork behind the engine cover has been a major talking point since the launch of the 2017 cars, with teams experimenting with both shark fins and the high T-wings. While Mercedes, Williams, Haas and Ferrari have so far run the T-wings, which help condition airflow over the rear of the car, the concept was taken to the next level on Tuesday.
Higher overall downforce levels make it harder for a following car to keep up in fast corners, because it loses front grip in the wake of the car ahead. After the first full group F1 test today, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa admitted that it will be an ongoing issue this year.
It’s great to be back in Europe and to be back in Spain. It was a good start for us today with two good practice sessions. Times were looking good on the longer and also on the shorter stints. I feel very comfortable with the car with some new parts added and they seemed to have worked well.