Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Raikkonen sets new benchmark time after Halo test

2016 F1 season

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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.

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Grosjean’s Haas stopped three times. More pictures
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 numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
17Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSF16-H1’22.765136Ultra-soft
219Felipe MassaWilliamsFW381’23.1930.428119Soft
327Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaVJM091’23.2510.486137Ultra-soft
433Max VerstappenToro RossoSTR111’23.3820.617159Ultra-soft
56Nico RosbergMercedesW071’24.1261.36181Medium
612Felipe NasrSauberC351’24.7601.995115Soft
714Fernando AlonsoMcLarenMP4-311’24.8702.105118Super-soft
894Pascal WehrleinManorMRT051’24.9132.14848Ultra-soft
926Daniil KvyatRed BullRB121’25.1412.376121Soft
1030Jolyon PalmerRenaultRS161’26.2243.45998Soft
116Lewis HamiltonMercedesW071’26.4883.72363Medium
128Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-161’27.1964.43177Soft

Teams’ best times so far

PositionTeamModelTimeGapTyre
1FerrariSF16-H1’22.765Ultra-soft
2MercedesW071’23.0220.257Soft
3Force IndiaVJM091’23.1100.345Super-soft
4WilliamsFW381’23.1930.428Soft
5Toro RossoSTR111’23.3820.617Ultra-soft
6Red BullRB121’23.5250.760Ultra-soft
7RenaultRS161’23.9331.168Super-soft
8McLarenMP4-311’24.7351.970Soft
9SauberC351’24.7601.995Soft
10ManorMRT051’24.9132.148Ultra-soft
11SauberC341’25.2372.472Soft
12HaasVF-161’25.5242.759Soft

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

Browse all 2016 F1 season articles

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Raikkonen sets new benchmark time after Halo test”

  1. When we don’t have any ultra soft times from Mercedes, so Kimi’s ultra soft time is not that relevant other than he managed to be faster than Vettel. However his 1m23.009s on soft is more interesting. It is faster than the fastest from Mercedes on soft.

    1. Merc didn’t show their hand despite Roseberg saying they were practicing some genuine qualy runs. When Williams are in 1.23.2 on softs, Merc will ne capable to do it with 1.22.2. It’s my own guess but i think Merc will be again ahead of Ferrari by half a second in qualy and 0.3~0.4 second in raw pace.

      1. Also last year they were faster in tests. For sure they progressed atleast a little in one year.

    2. I am not sure guys but i think raikkonen’s lap(1.23.009s) was on super-softs not softs as said in the article…an as sucj it was the fastest lap on super-softs

  2. Two days ago, Merc impressed with the 1m23.022 on the softs, which caused a buzz in the media about how quick the Mercs are. Rosberg also said that they were trying a genuine qualy run with that time.

    And today Ferrari went even faster, despite by just about 0.015s.

    Let’s hope for a good season :3 Ferrari looking good on pace, reliability still a question mark.

    1. And Hamilton only did a 23.6 on his fast run with softs.

  3. Reliably Mercedes is again 0,3 off ultra soft pace… on softs.

    A pattern right there. If we could read these pseudo results, it would be Mercedes slightly ahead…

    I can hardly wait for Melburne. About Q3 we will know what is what and who is in pole position to win it.

    I predict closest season of current rules. Ironically.the moment racing will be better.. So 2017 will bring major change and likeley see some team run away with it again.

    1. Classic Bernie, change the rules when it’s about to get good

      1. Easy to blame Bernie but …. Bernie does not make the rules – he can suggest – but he is only the commercial rights owner (Or the company he represents is) He promotes F1 around the world. The rules are made by the Strategy Group (Teams) in partnership with the FIA

        1. Actually rules are confirmed 1/3rd FOM, 1/3rd 6 teams and 1/3rd FIA… So 18 delegates… Really strange system.

          Semi non democratic democracy, that has so far introduced about 0 direction and proper leadership.

        2. sunny stivala
          3rd March 2016, 19:41

          CHrisB, When Bernie is gone most of formula one problems will follow him out,

      2. sunny stivala
        3rd March 2016, 19:38

        Bernie is the commercial rights holder and as such is not supposed to have anything to do with formula one rules and regulations.

    2. – I predict closest season of current rules. Ironically.the moment racing will be better.. So 2017 will bring major change and likeley see some team run away with it again.

      That statement of yours brings up the suggestion made recently by a VW rep. Assuming the company sincerely want to race in F1, all they needed was some stability in rules for a forseeable period of time.

      It certainly seems like Ferrari have made massive improvements and may give Mercedes a run for their money in 2016. And if the trend continues, without the new rules in place, 2017 might be the year a lot of teams catch up to Mercedes.

      But as you said, from 2017, with the new rules in place, another team who have done their home work very well may run away with the championship while the looser and fans in disappointment will begin a fresh round of complaints and derision of the sport calling for yet extra rule changes.

      1. One could argue to bring in 2017 rules then lock them in place for 7 years. Engine rules will stay unchanged atleast by 2020.

        Some rule stability would be nice. Especially on chassis side.

    3. @jureo

      Reliably Mercedes is again 0,3 off ultra soft pace… on softs.

      Raikkonen did a 1’23.009 on softs himself, faster than Rosberg’s best attempt on softs (who himself said that they were trying a genuine qualifying run).

      Then again, engine power, track conditions, etc… we all don’t know about that.

      1. Well, they are within fighting chance. Atleast seem to be. But considering their body language, press statements, they seem to have atleast 1s in hand. Not long now till we learn the truth.

  4. I’m really impressed by the amount Manor seems to have progressed. Regardless of what tyre they were running, a 6.2 second improvement over last year’s race weekend when most teams have made gains of around 3 seconds is quite outstanding and hopefully a sign of some good things to come.

    1. @f1alex yeah but what did you expect? Last year they were running a 2014 car with a 2014 PU. Of course they were always going to make huge progress with a proper newly developed car and a 2016 PU.

  5. Manor seem to have taken a pretty big step. I expect they’ll still be at the back, but maybe more like 2014 pace.

    1. I hope they will be capable of fighting with Haas and Sauber..

  6. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    3rd March 2016, 18:23

    Lap of the day? Felipe Massa’s 1’23.193 on softs – less than two tenths slower than Rosberg on the same tyre and on a day where most of the qualifying attempts had struggled to extract performance from the softer compounds (the laps times were mainly improving with the fuel-load, rather than the compound).

    Of course, Mercedes are still markedly the favourites to be on top, but that doesn’t change the fact that Ferrari, Williams and Force India has shown spurts of eye-catching pace. Hopefully we can have a 2008-style team dynamic, were three consecutive seasons of stable regulations and the law of diminishing returns pull the pack closer together. Albeit that is more hope than expectation…

    1. @william-brierty why not Raikkonen’s 1:23.009 on softs, or faster than Rosberg on the same tyre? Just because Williams are underdogs? :)

    2. Neil (@neilosjames)
      3rd March 2016, 23:36

      Massa’s lap kind of ruined Raikkonen’s for me. I could almost, almost believe Ferrari might match Mercedes… or, I could believe Williams could get within two-tenths of Ferrari.

      But I cannot believe Williams could get within two tenths of Mercedes.

      1. Massa did a one lap run. Kimi and Ros did 3-4 laps run and the fastest was set in the first laps.

        Still we don’t know how much fuel they got but at least we know, assuming Williams only had fuel for a lap, Merc/Ferrari can do that lap with 3-4 laps worth of fuel.

        Still faster.

        1. And put vettel in the Ferrari and a couple tenths faster then kimi. Which was the trend last year. And Hamilton only did a 23.6, rosberg had the edge over Hamilton end of last season and it might be continuing over the break.

  7. – Raikkonen went on to set a best time of 1’22.765 on ultra-soft tyres

    It seems Ferrari are more focused on the longevity of the UltraSoft, SuperSoft and Soft compounds and how they react on their new car while Mercedes have done nearly all their running tests so far on the medium compound.
    Could it be that Ferrari’s game plan is to compensate whatever (if any) inadequacy they might have in power, with a gamble on running the much faster and softer compounds in races.

    Mercedes recent history on tyre degradation and their focus on the medium but much slower compound, at Barcelona, may be their undoing if Ferrari have designed a car that is much kinder on the softer compounds. I can see Seb and Ferrari taking a gamble to go the extra mile in races with the much softer compound.

    Mercedes may have the power, but they may eventually wish they had run tests on the Ultra and Super Softs.

    1. Good point. Allison’s cars are famously gentle on tires, and Kimi did some impressive long runs on softer compounds in the Allison Lotus’ in ’12 and ’13. If they have that feeling about the new car, we might see some more of that. I think most of those podiums Kimi got in the Lotus were from 6th and 7th place qualifying positions. He managed to stay out longer than anyone on the softer compounds and secured a lot of points that way.

    2. Kind of like Lotus in 2012

    3. I do think that Ferrari might look at using softer tyres at several events yeah, because they have shown better performance vs. Mercedes recently whenever these softer compounds were used.

  8. Don’t kid yourself! As we all know, Q3 in Melbourne is the only thing that counts. Mercedes intentionally concealing their cards, and, as a consequence, letting the sport enjoy positive press with everyone thinking there’s a genuine fight at the front for supremacy. While good for the sport, don’t pretend to think they’ve been equalled. Their consistent long runs on mediums is ominous.

    1. @72defender Spot on mate. We don’t really know but i expect it to be the same as last year

    2. Ferrari seems just as consistent on longer runs , very similar pace

    3. Like every year…

  9. I’m very glad to this. He need to improve in this series.

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