Marcus Ericsson’s second-fastest time for Sauber meant that Ferrari-powered cars took the top two positions on all four days.
It was another damp start to the session with drivers opting to make complete their installation laps on either intermediate or full wet tyres.
Romain Grosjean became the last driver of the test to run his first laps in a 2015 car when he ventured out in the Lotus E23 for the first time in the early rush.
It took just 45 minutes for the first red flag stoppage of the day when Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull stopped on the circuit at turn nine. The team later confirmed that they had been halted by an ERS problem.
With the track still damp as the green flags flew, only Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton opted to make some steady laps with intermediate tyres.
Eventually, Hamilton became the first driver to break under the 1’30 barrier after switching to dry tyres before Raikkonen joined the Mercedes on track. The two world champions then began to trade fastest laps as the track temperature started to rise.
But there was trouble for Hamilton on his 43rd lap of the morning when the Mercedes driver spun the W06 at the chicane, bringing out the second red flag of the day.
There was little harm done to the car though, as the team got the car back out on track around 40 minutes later.
After very little running on Monday, Jenson Button will have been pleased to get some more laps in the MP4-30. The McLaren managed 34 laps of an aero programme before a fuel pump problem ended their test.
Lotus too announced that their day had come to an early end with concerns over the team’s power unit bringing a halt to Grosjean’s first run with the E23 after 53 laps.
With around an hour and a half remaining, Kimi Raikkonen exited the pit lane with a fresh set of soft tyres on his Ferrari. He promptly set the quickest time of the four day test with a 1’20.841 – just over a tenth faster than team mate Sebastian Vettel went on Monday, albeit on medium tyres.
Hamilton set his personal best time of a 1’22.172 on medium tyres, before Marcus Ericsson clocked a 1’22.019 to ensure Ferrari power would clean-sweep the top positions of all four days of the first test.
It was a productive day for many of the teams, with Ferrari, Sauber and Mercedes all achieving over 100 laps of running.
The final few minutes of the day were disrupted by two red flags. The first was triggered when the DRS marker at the beginning of the pit straight blew onto the track. Once that was cleared the session briefly resumed, only for Ericsson’s car to come to a stop moments later.
2015 F1 testing day four result
|1||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari SF15-T||1’20.841||106|
|2||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber-Ferrari C34||1’22.019||112||1.178|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W06||1’22.172||117||1.331|
|4||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso-Renault STR10||1’22.553||97||1.712|
|5||Felipe Massa||Williams-Mercedes FW37||1’23.116||73||2.275|
|6||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Mercedes E23||1’23.802||53||2.961|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault RB11||1’23.975||64||3.134|
|8||Jenson Button||McLaren-Honda MP4-30||1’27.660||35||6.819|
2015 F1 season
- How a secret Mercedes engine mode helped pressure Vettel into a race-ending puncture
- Over 100 driver penalties issued in record-breaking 2015
- Part-time racer? The facts of Hamilton’s ‘jet-set lifestyle’
- A unique atmosphere: Going to the Italian Grand Prix at Monza
- The Complete F1 Fanatic 2015 season review