Following the initial test on Monday – when the German driver barely completed 14 laps with the Red Bull RB5 due to a gearbox problem – Vettel scored the second best time of the day (1:22.177) after an overall mileage of 61 laps. Again, Red Bull Racing had to call it a day before the actual end of the session due to a small gearbox problem.
“The first impression is positive. We made big progress, we did a lot of laps taking into consideration that the car just finished its build on Monday morning. Unfortunately we had to stop before the end of the session, but so far the feeling is good in the car,” said Vettel to autosport.com, shortly after the end of the testing session.
Second overall was Williams-Toyota's Nico Hulkenberg, who came 0.266 seconds behind Vettel. Heikki Kovalainen had to settle for 4th place with his McLaren MP4-24, while last place overall was Renault's Nelsinho Piquet. The Brazilian driver spent most of the day on bottom of the timing sheets and argued that he needs more mileage to figure out the behavior of the R29. Despite scoring the poorest time on Tuesday, the revised R29 finally managed to show some improvement as compared to the Algarve testing in January.
“It's a shame that we lost some track time today because at this stage of the season we need to get as many miles on the car as possible. As the car is so new, we learn something with every lap and we have some useful data to go through this evening. The forecast looks better for tomorrow so hopefully we can continue the work we started today,” said Piquet.