The session featured the first red flag interruption of testing, with Sergio Perez stopping in the final sector during the final hour.
Unlike at the start of the first session on day one, there was a reduced rushed to immediately head onto the circuit when the morning action kicked off at 9am local time.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo led the early times, but with large aero-measuring rakes fitted to all the cars that took part in the initial running – McLaren, Alpine, Williams, AlphaTauri, Aston Martin and Ferrari – the laps were coming in nearly 15s slower than the fastest times on day one as the teams required their drivers to run down the straights at consistent low speeds.
Lewis Hamilton’s headed out 20 minutes into the four-hour session and posted the first representative time of the day – a 1m28.799s on the C3 medium compound tires – although that was still some way off the quickest times logged so far in testing.
The times did begin to drop when Esteban Ocon set a string of laps in the 1m24s on the C2 hard, but not the hardest, tire to work the first place benchmark down to a 1m24.231s with 40 minutes gone.
He was then replaced at the end of the order as the first hour began to end by Lance Stroll’s run of fastest times aboard the Aston – the best of which came in at 1m22.620s.
But Sainz moved ahead just a few minutes later to end the opening hour on top with a 1m21.010s – set on the C3 tyres.
As the laps built up across the morning, the Spaniard improved the fast times in stages.
He put in a 1m28.890s during a run on the C3s 90 minutes in before improving again to a 1m20.546s – on the same compound – just past the session’s halfway point.
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images
That time stood as the best for most of the rest of the morning, before a flurry of almost times ahead of the lunch break shook up the order.
The late action followed Perez coasting to a halt coming out of Turn 13 with just under 40 minutes remaining and stopping on track – with his car returned to the pits on a lorry after being bagged by Red Bull mechanics, who had been dispatched to the recovery scene.
Red Bull was quick to attribute the stoppage to a gearbox issue but says the fault has already been remedied ahead of the Mexican returning to the cockpit this afternoon.
The stoppage lasted over 20 minutes, after which Ricciardo vaulted ahead of long-time leader Sainz – going fastest on a 1m20.335s on the C3 tyres.
Sainz’s effort from earlier in the morning remained as second best, while Gasly’s post-red flag improvement left him third.
Gasly finished ahead of Williams driver Alex Albon, who spent the first hour conducting a series of installation laps and aero-rake tests well off the pace, before he jumped up the order with a run on the C3s at the start of the second hour.
Stroll ended the morning in fifth for Aston – ahead of Mick Schumacher.
The Haas driver completed major running for the first time in the test after his afternoon on day one was severely compromised by a floor problem, but his running on Thursday morning did also feature a spin coming out of the downhill right just before the slow chicane at the end of the final sector at the start of the final hour.
Perez had barely left the Red Bull garage during the early running, before going on to rack up 38 laps – the best of which came on the C2 tyre, as Red Bull again concentrated on the harder rubber.
He was shuffled down to eighth by Valtteri Bottas just before the session ended at 1pm local time, with the Finn logging just 19 laps as Alfa Romeo’s difficult start to testing continued.
Hamilton did not leave the pits after the red flag and ended the first session with the ninth fastest time – set on the C2 tyres, which Esteban Ocon also used for his best lap during his first morning aboard Alpine’s new challenger that netted the slowest time of Thursday’s first session.
As per yesterday morning, Ferrari topped the lap count as Sainz turned into 71 laps – nine down on the tally managed by team-mate Charles Leclerc on Wednesday.
Haas and Alpine but turned in 66 tours apiece, the former having been limited to just 43 from the full eight hours yesterday.
McLaren chalked 65 laps, while Red Bull – kept off the bottom by Alfa’s limited mileage – notched 38 circuits before Perez’s stoppage. Mercedes completed 40 laps, seventh of the 10 teams.
2022 F1 Barcelona test: Day 2, session one results:
|7||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:22.288||+1.933s||21/C3|
|8th||Sergio Perez||red bull||1:22.412||+2.057s||38/C2|