Grosjean leads the way in Jerez.


Romain Grosjean set a new benchmark time during the second morning of testing at Jerez, while Mercedes faces another headache after the second problem with its new car in as many days.

Lewis Hamilton hit the barriers after just 15 laps when his Mercedes suffered a loss of rear brake pressure caused by a problem with the hydraulic brake line connecting to the right rear. He managed to lock up his front wheels to slow down ahead of the gravel trap before skating over the gravel and into the barrier. The impact also caused damage to the car’s nose, front wing and suspension with the team unable to say when he would rejoin the action.

Meanwhile, Grosjean beat Jenson Button’s fastest time from Tuesday’s test session, lowering the target to a 1:18.828 before the teams stopped briefly for lunch at 13:00. Paul di Resta was second fastest with a 1:19.003, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso on a 1:19.134.

Ricciardo caused a red flag earlier in the session when his car stopped on track, before Luiz Razia, who jumped in the car just one hour after being announced as a 2013 driver, caused another red flag when he stopped on the pit straight.

Mark Webber improved on his Tuesday time by setting a 1:19.338 for fourth fastest ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in fifth. Hamilton’s time just before his crash was good enough for sixth fastest – a 1:19.519. The man replacing him at McLaren, Sergio Perez completed 38 laps in total and set the seventh fastest time, with a best effort 0.744s off Grosjean.

Felipe Massa was roughly a second off the top of the timesheets with the eighth fastest time ahead of Giedo van der Garde in the Caterham, 3.088s off Grosjean, and Razia who was 4.709s off the top. Pastor Maldonado completed just seven laps in the updated 2012 Williams with a best time of 1:27.124.

Times at 13:00

Driver Car Best time Laps
1. Romain Grosjean Lotus E21 1:18.828 45
2. Paul di Resta Force India VJM06 1:19.003 59
3. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:19.124 41
4. Mark Webber Red Bull RB9 1:19.338 46
5. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber C32 1:19.502 40
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W04 1:19.519 15
7. Sergio Perez McLaren MP4-28 1:19.572 38
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari F138 1:19.914 33
9. Giedo van der Garde Caterham CT03 1:21.916 37
10. Luiz Razia Marussia MR02 1:23.537 31
11. Pastor Maldonado Williams FW34 1:27.124 7

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