Kimi Raikkonen has set the pace on the final day of pre-season testing at the circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. His pace from the morning put him eight-tenths faster than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The Finn was four tenths faster than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, after setting his fastest time on the supersoft tyres. Verstappen looked close on track. As did the Canadian Lance Stroll in the Williams.
The Dutchman, however, broke Red Bull into the 1:19’s, but was over half a second down on the Ferrari.
Any hopes of McLaren having a trouble free morning was ended after Fernando Alonso came to a halt on track with an hour remaining. McLaren is going into the first race in a fortnight’s time as one of the least prepared teams.
Proving the team has still not got on top of the electrical issue they had yesterday.
It wasn’t just Alonso causing red flags, as Haas’s Romain Grosjean broke down in the closing half hours. This followed an off earlier in the day when he was fastest, he went off at turn five. For Lance Stroll it was another productive morning, he was first out on circuit setting a 22.7.
There was also encouragement for Renault as Nico Hulkenberg went fastest before Grosjean had his first off bringing out the red flags. But this afternoon should prove whether Renault can keep the momentum to stay in that mid-field group.
Also, Stroll had a productive morning setting times around the 1:20’s, which is good for the rookie as he has had mixed pre-season tests. Force India prove they are not far off the pace set by the Williams, which could be shaping up for an interesting mid-field fight.
It was a slow start to the afternoon with Perez being the first man out on track, but it took a while for the cars to return to the track. The Mexican set the first time of the afternoon but came back into the pit lane
But Raikkonen remained fastest with Mercedes not being able to push the Finn enough to get him off the top of the time sheets but the gap was .6 of a second. Mercedes it believed are yet to reveal their real pace, but Hamilton did finish behind Bottas.
After a difficult week some positive news came for Alonso in the McLaren as he clocked his fastest time of winter testing a 1:21.3, however, it’s not enough to get the team off the back of the field.
McLaren still had their problems, spending most of their afternoon doing what can be described as ‘short runs’. Just as things were looking up for McLaren, Raikkonen came to a halt just before the chicane bringing out the red flag. Alonso did set his fastest time of the whole of winter testing, but it was a huge 2.7 seconds off the pace.
However, this leaves them in a difficult situation as they are set firmly to go into the opening race in a fortnight’s time, as the least prepared team.
Things aren’t as bad for Red Bull, but their afternoon wasn’t perfect spending the first few hours in the pits checking for a turbo issue. Also, Haas stopping on track. But, Verstappen did put the team into second and sister team Toro Rosso slotted into third.
Valtteri Bottas pushed team-mate Hamilton into fifth, but both nearly equalled each other in terms of laps with less than .005 of a second between them.
It was a productive day for most of the teams who all reached over 100 laps.
- BARCELONA TEST 2 DAY 3 – Vettel tops times by three tenths ahead of Hamilton, but plays down his pace
- Day Two – Result
- BARCELONA TEST 2 DAY 2 – Bottas Fastest After The Afternoon Is Heavily Interrupted By Red Flags
- Day One – Result
- BARCELONA TEST 2 DAY 1 – Massa Makes Up For Lost Time Topping The Times And Racking Up The Miles
- F1 Today – Testing Special (06/03/2017)
- Preview – Barcelona Second Test