Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest lap time seen so far in testing after running the new Halo head protection device for the first time.
The Ferrari used the new device on his first run before discarding it. Raikkonen went on to set a best time of 1’22.765 on ultra-soft tyres, five-hundredths of a second quicker than his team mate managed on the same tyres last week.
Felipe Massa was second-fastest after producing the quickest lap time of the test so far for Williams on soft tyres, less than half a second behind Raikkonen. Max Verstappen also improved Toro Rosso’s best time, getting within six-tenths of Raikkonen’s best time on ultra-softs.
For the first time since its debut on Tuesday Sauber’s C35 lapped quicker than its predecessor in testing, Felipe Nasr lowering the team’s best time by half a second.
A mammoth day of mileage saw almost all the teams cover well north of 100 laps. Haas, which only managed a single installation lap yesterday reached 77, but Romain Grosjean caused all three of the day’s red flags due to stoppages.
Once again Mercedes split the running between its two drivers but Verstappen did one more lap than the pair of them in his STR11.
Today’s times and laps
|Pos.||Car number||Driver||Team||Model||Best time||Gap||Laps||Tyres|
|3||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||VJM09||1’23.251||0.486||137||Ultra-soft|
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||STR11||1’23.382||0.617||159||Ultra-soft|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||RB12||1’25.141||2.376||121||Soft|
Teams’ best times so far
2016 and 2015 lap times context
How each team’s best time so far compares to their pre-season testing times at the Circuit de Catalunya last year and their fastest lap during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend. A negative difference is quicker, positive is slower.
2016 F1 season
- Which was F1’s best down-to-the-wire title fight?
- Are tickets too dear? Crowds fell at some tracks in 2016
- F1’s TV audience decline stopped in 2016
- Brawn among key F1 hires announced by Liberty
- Has F1 hit ‘peak penalties’? Fewer sanctions in 2016