The Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen has set the fastest time seen in the whole of Pre-season testing at the third day of the second Pre-season tests at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
The penultimate day of testing before the season gets underway saw Raikkonen set the fastest time in the whole of pre-season testing so far. His time, a 1.22.765, was set on the new ultrasoft tyre and was 0.045 seconds faster than the time set by his team mate Sebastian Vettel during the first test on the same tyre. Raikkonen managed 130 laps in the car today. Two of which saw him trial the new ‘halo’ concept (As can be seen above in the picture). It involves two curved arms stretching forward from the back of the cockpit and arching round to meet at the front, where a vertical strut supports the structure. When asked about the affect the halo had on terms of driver visibility Kimi replied it was “okay.”
Both the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, and the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen joint the Ferrari on more qualifying simulation runs. Both drivers set their fastest times of the day (a 1:23.251 for Hulkenberg. And a 1:23.382 for Verstappen) on the ultrasoft tyre. Their times were good enough to see the drives finish third and fourth on the timesheet for today.
Mercedes meanwhile seemed to once again stick to running on longer stints with the medium tyres, Nico Rosberg completed 81 laps in the morning before handing over to Hamilton, who added 63 laps. The drivers finished in fifth and eleventh in the timing sheets today, which are not representative times of what the car is capable of. This lead to the Williams of Felipe Massa picking up the second fastest time of the day, a 1.23.193 on the soft tyres. While McLaren were able to run 118 laps in the car with Fernando Alonso today, highlighting the positive steps McLaren have taken after a difficult first test.
One team however who’ve had a day to forget is new team Haas. They were responsible for three separate red flag incidents today as Romain Grosjean fought to keep the car on track. He ended up in the gravel twice, before the car cut out at the end with a suspected break by wire fault. The only sliver of hope for the team was they managed 78 laps with Grosjean. But they still finished slowest of the day. Today comes on the back of what has been a difficult test for Haas after the positive start they made in the first test. Running was cut short of the first day of the second test due to a fuel pump problem. While the team managed only one instillation lap yesterday due to a turbo related issue. The team are positive tomorrow will go smoothly though.
Day Three, Second Pre-season test fastest time+laps
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Ultrasoft Tyre, 1:22.765, 136 laps
2. Felipe Massa, Williams, Soft Tyre, 1:23.193, 119 laps;
3. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Ultrasoft Tyre, 1:23.251, 137 laps
4. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, Ultrasoft Tyre, 1:23.382, 159 laps
5. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Medium Tyre, 1:24.126, 81 laps
6. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Soft Tyre, 1:24.760, 116 laps
7. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Supersoft Tyre, 1:24.870, 118 laps
8. Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, Ultrasoft Tyre, 1:24.913, 48 laps
9. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Soft Tyre, 1:25.141, 121 laps
10. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Soft Tyre, 1:26.224, 98 laps
11. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Medium Tyre, 1:26.488, 63 laps
12. Romain Grosjean, Haas, Soft Tyre, 1:27.196, 78 laps
Feature Image Credit: Scuderia Ferrari press release