Button tops second test day at Jerez
29 January 2014 – Jenson Button and McLaren bounced back from their initial testing troubles to top the timesheets on the second day of pre-season action at the Circuito de Jerez. With a best effort of 1:24.165, set on Pirelli's Medium tyre, the Briton comfortably led the rest of the field.
Following overnight showers, the decision was taken to bring forward Friday's planned wet tyre testing, a new requirement for the 2014 season. The track was wetted further by a water tanker, and allowed sole supplier Pirelli to give a first run to its new Wet compound, which can now disperse 65 litres of water per second as opposed to the 60 litres per second previously.
Come the afternoon, the track was bone-dry, during which time Nico Rosberg completed by far the most mileage. The Mercedes driver's lap total stood at an impressive 97, more than all of the teams combined on the first day.
In contrast, the Renault-powered outfits managed a mere 19 laps between them. World Champion Sebastian Vettel was sidelined with an energy store issue after eight tours, Caterham's Marcus Ericsson only just creeped into double figures after stopping on-track, and Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat was unable to leave his garage.
Of the eight drivers to post a time, it was ultimately Button who set the pace. Giving the MP4-29 its first mileage, he gradually worked his way down to the low 1m24s bracket, enough to keep Tuesday pace-setter Kimi Räikkönen at bay by six tenths of a second. Valtteri Bottas was third, a further half a second adrift.
Having been the only driver to conduct longer runs, Rosberg wound up fourth fastest, ahead of Force India's Sergio Pérez, whose day came to a premature end when his VJM07 ground to a halt at the first corner.
Esteban Gutiérrez, who was another to bring out the red flags after sliding into the gravel, finished almost five seconds adrift of his fellow Mexican, while Vettel and Ericsson were the final drivers to post times.
Pre-season testing at the Circuito de Jerez continues at 9am local time (GMT +1) on Thursday