BARCELONA TEST 1 DAY 4 – Raikkonen fastest beating Vettel’s best, as teams try out the wet tyres

Testing & Race Reports

Kimi Raikkonen was fastest on the final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The Finn set his fastest time on the soft tyres during the afternoon, but it was just under a second down on team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s Wednesday benchmark.

The circuit was artificially soaked track so Pirelli could work on the development of the new wet tyres and remained damp until the mid-afternoon after the tankers had to keep wetting the circuit. Once the circuit dried out in the late afternoon it allowed Raikkonen to set his best time.

Drivers have asked for changes to the ‘extreme’ tyre, used in the heaviest rain because it was too prone to aquaplaning.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean told BBC News there had been “a lot of progress made from last year” but said the ‘intermediate’ tyre “got destroyed a bit too early, so some work is to be done”.

But they has stuck to using just the medium and soft tyres and next week’s qualifying simulations should reveal Ferrari’s true potential but it will go into the second week encouraged by the start it has made to 2017.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished the day second fastest. But, there are questions for Ferrari with their one-lap pace and qualifying performance was a weakness for the team last year. The Dutch teenager was out early on the wet tyres, pushing hard on his early runs.

It is believed that Red Bull is yet to show their full potential.

After days of hugely reliable running from the Mercedes Lewis Hamilton was the first to hit problems. The team encountered an electrical fault, meaning the team were unable to get real wet running. Mercedes however still completed just over a race distance.

But that wasn’t the end of the team’s problems, as they called Bottas in early ending his day after engineers “found something in the data they didn’t like” in the final hour. Jolyon Palmer put in a good lap for third on the soft, half a second ahead of Romain Grosjean in the Haas and Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi.

Haas focused much of their day racking up the mileage, with Giovinazzi continuing to impress. The Italian completed eighty-four laps, setting his best time on the ultra-softs.

Sergio Perez finished sixth ahead of McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne. It was a more reliable day for the British team, with

Unlike Toro Rosso, who only completing a single installation lap before problems were detected in its Renault engine. This meant that the team and Daniil Kvyat lost the entire days running because of an engine change. The Italian team was looking to get Carlos Sainz out in the afternoon.

After Lance Stroll’s crash on Wednesday, Williams were forced to sit out the entire day on safety grounds following damage to the chassis. Meaning Felipe Massa lost out on all important wet running.

A statement said “Following a thorough inspection overnight some damage to the FW40 chassis was discovered and therefore, on safety grounds, the team will not run the car today.

“A second chassis will be prepared at track this afternoon, as originally planned, with the team aiming to be back on track for the second test next week.”




Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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