Fernando Alonso was the only driver to set a lap time on the third day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya – Barcelona. The McLaren driver set his fastest time on the extreme wet tyre as heavy snow overnight caused many teams to abandon the days running.
The unseasonably cold weather hit the circuit overnight causing the start of the day to be delayed for three hours before the track opened. However the Spaniard waited another hour before heading out. The Spaniard then set the pace with a two eighteen, a full minute and ten seconds off the lap record.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley also ventured out. But the Australian soon demonstrated why teams were reluctant to run.
Temperatures rose slowly during the afternoon, but the snow returned. Marcus Ericsson and Robert Kubica were the only other drivers to appear, while towards the end of the day Alonso carried out “tests and checks” for McLaren with a series of one-lap appearances on track
The forecast for next week’s test, which runs from Tuesday to Friday, has promised warm weather, many of the teams are already fretting about a shortage of track time with just five days of running remaining before the start of the new season.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told BBC News “You don’t learn anything. We will never race in this circumstance, and the only thing you do is risk the car.”
“This being the first test of the season, we are lean on spares, and we cannot risk it. And at the moment it does not look much better on Thursday. It is getting warmer but still wet.”
Extending the test for an extra day would require the unanimous approval of all 10 teams.
So far Lewis Hamilton has only managed twenty-five laps, while McLaren has only managed to reach their daily target of a hundred laps in three days.
- DAY THREE – heavy snow causes testing to be delayed and likely to be canceled
- BARCELONA TEST ONE DAY TWO – Vettel set the pace in unseasonable cold weather going three tenths faster than Bottas
- BARCELONA TEST ONE DAY ONE – Ricciardo sets the pace as the top four remain close on track
- Prixview – Barcelona test