Barcelona: Australia`s Daniel Ricciardo was fastest on the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona on Friday as world champion Lewis Hamilton made a surprise return after missing much of the opening day due to a fever.
Ricciardo managed to put his Red Bull through a full race simulation of 143 laps, including time on the faster soft tyres which allowed him to record the quickest time of the week so far at the Circuit de Catalunya in 1min 24.574.
Hamilton replaced teammate Nico Rosberg, who is suffering from a neck injury, for the afternoon session and didn`t waste any time as he reeled off 89 laps as Mercedes again prioritised mileage over speed.
The Englishman and the German were only fifth and sixth fastest respectively, but once again logged the most laps after Rosberg completed 66 in the morning.
Ferrari remain the most consistent team when it comes to speed through six days of testing as Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest in his 90 laps.
Meanwhile, there was even some encouragement for the embattled McLaren-Honda relationship as despite warning they could suffer limited running time due to a faulty seal, they managed their most successful day of testing so far as two-time world champion Fernando Alonso completed 59 laps.
The end of the afternoon session marked the halfway stage of testing with six more days to come in Barcelona over the next nine days before the season gets underway for real at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15.