Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Ferrari remain on top as pre-season testing ends

2016 F1 season

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Pre-season testing for the 2016 championship ended with Ferrari on top for the fifth time in eight days. However Sebastian Vettel was unable to improve on the quickest time of the test set by team mate Kimi Raikkonen yesterday.

Vettel began the day by trying the prototype Halo driver head protection which Raikkonen had run 24 hours earlier.

Mercedes concluded their low-key, high-mileage preparations in much the same fashion they had over the previous two weeks. But it was not a completely trouble-free day – Lewis Hamilton’s car came to a stop on the pit straight shortly before the lunch time break.

Nonetheless the team ended their eight days of running having completed more than 6,000 kilomentres of testing – just 97km less than they managed over the twelve days of pre-season running last year. Mercedes covered 50% more mileage than any team bar Toro Rosso.

Carlos Sainz Jnr had another busy day in the STR11 and also used the ultra-soft tyres to produce the team’s quickest lap of the test so far. He ended the day second on the times sheets ahead of Felipe Massa’s Williams.

The only other team to improve its lap time was McLaren, as Jenson Button posted a 1’24.714 on ultra-softs which left the Honda-powered car just under two seconds off the fastest time seen during the test.

Sergio Perez caused another of the day’s red flags when his car stopped on the track. Rio Haryanto was unable to run in the morning due to problems with his Manor, but a more productive afternoon session saw him complete 58 laps.

After a difficult start to the second test, Haas managed more 91 laps on the final day which was shared between its two drivers. The newcomers ended pre-season testing last on the times sheets but just three-tenths of a second off Manor.

Today’s times and laps

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
15Sebastian VettelFerrariSF16-H1’22.852142Super-soft
255Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoSTR111’23.1340.282132Ultra-soft
319Felipe MassaWilliamsFW381’23.6440.792129Super-soft
411Sergio PerezForce IndiaVJM091’23.7210.86960Super-soft
56Lewis HamiltonMercedesW071’24.1331.28169Medium
63Daniel RicciardoRed BullRB121’24.4271.575123Soft
722Jenson ButtonMcLarenMP4-311’24.7141.862121Ultra-soft
830Jolyon PalmerRenaultRS161’24.8592.00790Super-soft
99Marcus EricssonSauberC351’25.0312.179132Soft
108Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-161’25.2552.40366Soft
1121Esteban GutierrezHaasVF-161’25.4222.57025Super-soft
1288Rio HaryantoManorMRT051’25.8993.04758Ultra-soft
136Nico RosbergMercedesW071’26.1403.28870Medium

Teams’ best times – full test

PositionTeamModelTimeGapTyre
1FerrariSF16-H1’22.765Ultra-soft
2MercedesW071’23.0220.257Soft
3Force IndiaVJM091’23.1100.345Super-soft
4Toro RossoSTR111’23.1340.369Ultra-soft
5WilliamsFW381’23.1930.428Soft
6Red BullRB121’23.5250.760Ultra-soft
7RenaultRS161’23.9331.168Super-soft
8McLarenMP4-311’24.7141.949Ultra-soft
9SauberC351’24.7601.995Soft
10ManorMRT051’24.9132.148Ultra-soft
11SauberC341’25.2372.472Soft
12HaasVF-161’25.2552.490Soft

Teams’ mileages – full test

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

Author information

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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  • 30 comments on “Ferrari remain on top as pre-season testing ends”

    1. Didn’t Hamilton have problems on another day as well?

    2. Are McLaren holding back? Because I’m pretty sure they did a 1:24.7 on the softs, supersofts and the ultrasofts. As a McLaren fan, what’s worrying is that people are saying how compared to last year, even the chassis looks worse. What a disappointment McLaren has now become!

      1. They’ve announced that the aero package is still not final spec and what turns up in Melbourne will be what we need to judge them by.

    3. Let’s hope Hamilton loses a few tenths over the winter for entertainment’s sake.

    4. Can you please show the best times the teams achieved for each tyre type, so that we can see who was fastest and slowest on each tyre type?

      1. Below are the times by tyre… i forgot to put the day also… my bad.

        1. Sorry also i have to say that this is only by the times @keithcollantine shared with us.

    5. Supersoft

      Ferrari 1’22.852
      FI 1’23.110
      Williams 1’23.261
      Toro Rosso 1’23.382
      Ranault 1’23.933
      Mclaren 1’24.870
      Haas 1’25.422

      1. If I remember correct kimi did 1.23.009 in soft on day 3 of test-2…

    6. Ultrasoft
      Ferrari 1’22.765
      Toro Rosso 1’23.134
      Williams 1’23.229
      Red Bull 1’23.525
      Mclaren 1’24.714
      Manor 1’24.913

      1. The lap times on the super soft and the ultrasoft are almost identical which it might mean that either the mclaren’s car destroys its tires(according to some people the ultrasoft tires doesn’t last the whole lap, according to some people it runs well through the first and second sectors in Barcelona and then the performance goes backwards, many cars were doing the best times in the first and second sectors but by the third sector they lost all the improvements in comparison to the super soft tires. So it will theoretically mean that mclaren did not push it to the maximum on their best lap on the ultrasoft tire.

        1. ultrasoft is not designed to work in Barcelona.

      2. Force India (Hulkenberg) 1.23.251 (03/03)

    7. Soft
      Mercedes 1’23.022
      Williams 1’23.193
      Red Bull 1’24.427
      Mclaren 1’24.735
      Sauber 1’24.760
      Toro Rosso 1’25.176
      Haas 1’25.255
      Renault 1’25.263
      FI 1’25.336
      Manor 1’25.925

      1. spafrancorchamps
        4th March 2016, 19:56

        So, judging this, the laptime difference between softs and ultra softs is somewhere between 0.9 and 1.3 seconds(?). So McLaren’s best possible lap time (if they pushed during the lap on the softs) would arguably be a laptime in the range of 1:23.8 – 1:23.4. That sucks.. They better have something up their sleeves or this McLaren-fan will have yet another awful season :(

        1. Pireli said diff between 0.5 ~ 0.8s.

      2. Ferrari did a 1:23:009 on the softs

        1. sunny stivala
          4th March 2016, 22:29

          What is the use in saying that the SF16-H did a 1-23.009s on softs when the opinion pushed forward by the usual spinners that are in a position to influence the opinion of their followers is/was as follows, on the first day of testing “the WO7 offered a glimpse of its true potential” by midway through the second week of testing when the WO7 also used the softs “it is notoriously difficult to accurately read performance in testing”. most probably some of those opinion spinners after assuring everybody and his dog that FERRARI were having big engine problems, they are now suspecting that the 059/5 is now being fitted with SPARK PLUGS!

          1. But Ferrari did do a 1:23.009 on softd. I don’t understand the rest of your rant

      3. Ferrari did a 1’23.009 on softs

    8. Medium
      Mercedes 1’24.133
      Ferrari 1’24.611
      Redbull 1’25.235
      Toro Rosso 1’25.300
      Williams 1’26.091
      Haas 1’26.661
      Mclaren 1’26.919
      Sauber 1’27.555
      Manor 1’28.249
      Renault 1’29.356
      Haas 1’28.399

      1. Maybe @keithcollantine can do a graph … : )

      2. Massa did 1.24.898 with Williams in 03/03. Maybe he got another tyre that day and got better time with it. Rosberg got a 1.24.126 in the same day.

    9. I did a projection of corrected times based on Alan Torres’ data and filtered out best projected times for each team assuming that the gaps between tyre compounds are Ultra Soft -> 0.5 s -> Super Soft -> 0.6 s -> Soft -> 0.8 s -> Medium.

      Team Tune Tyres Correction Projection Gap
      Mercedes 1:23.022 Soft 1.1 1:21.922 0.000
      Williams 1:23.193 Soft 1.1 1:22.093 0.171
      Ferrari 1:22.852 Super-soft 0.5 1:22.352 0.430
      Force India 1:23.110 Super-soft 0.5 1:22.610 0.688
      Toro Rosso 1:23.382 Super-soft 0.5 1:22.882 0.960
      Red Bull 1:24.427 Soft 1.1 1:23.327 1.405
      Renault 1:23.933 Super-soft 0.5 1:23.433 1.511
      McLaren 1:24.735 Soft 1.1 1:23.635 1.713
      Sauber 1:24.760 Soft 1.1 1:23.660 1.738
      Haas 1:25.255 Soft 1.1 1:24.155 2.233
      Manor 1:25.925 Soft 1.1 1:24.825 2.903

      1. @johnbeak the assumption is faulty – the super soft and ultra soft tyres didn’t even come close to delivering that kind of lap find. Presumably they were not a good fit for the track and conditions.

        See, Ferrari put in a time of 1:23.009 on the soft tyre, which is faster than Rosbergs time.

      2. @johnbeak
        As MattDS said, the ultrasoft and supersoft barely deliver any laptime over the soft tyres, because they are fundamentally not designed for this track. Anyway, Ferrari did a 1’23.009 on soft tyres, which are at least one second faster than the medium tyres. Also, the hards are unusable in these temperatures and much slower than any other tyre.

        The gaps are far less consistent. Based on Ferrari running all five tyres, the gap is something like:

        Ultrasoft -> 0.1 s -> Supersoft -> 0.2 s -> Soft -> 1.0 s -> Medium -> 1.5 s -> Hard

    10. Btw, does anyone know the deal with the Vettel’s helmet? What’s up with the black obscuring the German colors?

    11. My brain hurts !

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