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Valtteri Bottas braves cold to set early pace on second day of F1 test

The Finn's lap of 1 minute, 20.270 seconds was followed by Stoffel Vandoorne in his McLaren and Sebastian Vettel, who was getting his first drive behind the new Ferrari.

Reported by: AP , MONTMELO [ Published on: February 27, 2018 23:43 IST ]
Image Source : AP Valtteri Bottas sits in his car cockpit during a F1 pre-season testing session at the Catalunya racetrack

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time halfway through the second day of Formula One preseason testing on Tuesday. The Finn's lap of 1 minute, 20.270 seconds was followed by Stoffel Vandoorne in his McLaren and Sebastian Vettel, who was getting his first drive behind the new Ferrari.

A track temperature of 4 degrees (39 F) at 9 a.m. local time when the session started kept most drivers in the garages until things warmed up by noon. Officials granted the teams' request to cancel the one-hour lunch break to give more time for drivers to take out their cars.

Red Bull's fortunes turned after Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest time and clocked the most laps on Monday.

Teammate Max Verstappen was limited to a handful of laps on Tuesday morning due to what Red Bull called a "minor fuel leak."

As on the first day of testing, defending champion Lewis Hamilton was scheduled to take over for Bottas in the afternoon. But Mercedes announced midway through the day that Bottas would continue behind the wheel "to maximize our mileage after the poor track conditions limited running this morning."

More cold temperatures and snow and rain are forecast for Wednesday.

Testing in northeastern Spain runs until Thursday. A second four-day session will be held from March 6-9. The season-opening Australian GP is on March 25.

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