Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was fastest on the final day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalyuna – Barcelona. The German set the latest time of the day on the super-soft tyres setting the fastest time during the morning session.
The German set a 1:22.852 while completing 142 laps on track a handful more than the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz who was second .2 of a second down on Vettel’s best time. Sainz set his best lap on the ultra-soft tyres. Felipe Massa was third after finding major gains in the afternoon.
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton was fifth fastest just over two seconds faster than his team-mate Nico Rosberg. However it believed that the team are masking there true pace and focusing on reliability.
After seven days and completing nearly 19 race distances it appeared they had found the breaking point with Hamilton stopping shortly before the lunch break with a transmission problem. However, Mercedes managed to repair the car so Rosberg could complete seventy laps on track.
Hamilton saw the positives telling Sky Sports News “I’m glad l broke it! It’s better to break it now than in Melbourne. I pushed the car here and there but Australia is when l will really get to open it up.”
“It’s been an incredible two weeks for the team. They have done an amazing job. We’ve done more mileage than ever before – which has been tiring!”
Felipe Massa was third for Williams who focused on short runs going .08 of a second faster than the Force India of Sergio Perez on the super softs. Daniel Riccardo was sixth fastest while Jenson Button managed to complete 121 laps but was nearly two seconds down on Vettel.
But Eric Boullier McLaren’s Racing Director said the team hasn’t been running there full 2016 spec of the MP4-31.
Jolyon Plamer just managed to edge out the Sabuer of Marcus Ericcson for eighth fastest. Haas ran both Romain Grosjean an Esteban Gutiérrez with Grosjean .017 of a second faster.
Rio Haryton ran into technical problems on his Manor with him doing one installation lap during the morning with the afternoon proving much better with him doing 58 laps.
Day four fastest times
1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:22.852
2 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso 1:23.134
3 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams 1:23.644
4 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:23.721
5 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:24.133
6 Daniel Ricciardo (Rus) Red Bull 1:24.427
7 Jenson Button (GB) McLaren 1:24.714
8 Jolyon Palmer (GB) Renault 1:24.859
9 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber 1:25.031
10 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:25.255
11 Esteban Gutierrez (Spa) Haas 1:25.422
12 Rio Haryanto (Idn) Manor 1:25.899
13 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:26.140