As in-season testing kicked off in Barcelona, the Mercedes W09 became a magnet for attention. The German marquee ran the W09 with two new rain lights fitted on their car’s rear wing.
Defending champion Lewis Hamilton was the first of the two Mercedes drivers to take the W09 for a spin when the team debuted the fresh look.
“This is just a trial light set-up for better visibility in the rain,” said a Mercedes representative.
When Hamilton completed his stint, he had covered the equivalent of two full race distances. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas took over driving duties for the second and final day of running on Wednesday. The Finn went on to top the session for Mercedes.
Bottas hit the front as the half hour mark struck. He later consolidated his position by setting a personal best with the soft compound Pirellis.
Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi temporarily knocked him off top spot with 20 minutes to go. He had set a lap of 1m16.972s on hypersofts.
Bottas didn’t take long to reclaim the position, this time on supersofts. This time, the 28-year old remained on top of the pile.
Kevin Magnussen was third fastest for Haas on the hypersoft tires. McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris was fourth fastest, 1.923s slower on medium rubber.
Renault young driver Jack Aitken was fifth fastest, a tenth slower than Norris on ultrasofts. Sauber’s Charles Leclerc was sixth fastest on the hypersoft tires.
Robert Kubica was seventh for Williams ahead of Force India driver Nikita Mazepin. Stoffel Vandoorne in the Pirelli test McLaren was down in ninth place. Red bull young driver Jake Dennis rounded out the top 10.
Sean Gelael returned for a second day in the Toro Rosso, ending up 11th using soft rubber, ahead of Nicholas Latifi.
Latifi drove Force India’s regular car on Tuesday, but switched to Pirelli test duties in its second machine for day two.