Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen posted what was comfortably the fastest lap time of the pre-season as testing came to a close in Barcelona.
Despite a stoppage late in the day, Raikkonen’s 1’18.634 was easily the quickest time by any of the ten teams over the two weeks of testing ahead of the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
The weather was clear and sunny once more as the teams took to the track for their last opportunity to run before the season begins.
Nico Hulkenberg used ultra soft tyres on his Renault to post their quickest time with a 1’19.885, before handing the car over to team mate Jolyon Palmer in the afternoon, who was able to add a modest amount of laps to his total.
Haas experienced a difficult morning as Romain Grosjean first stopped in the pitlane and had to be pushed back to the garage, before spinning into the gravel at turn five later in the morning and causing the first of the day’s red flag stoppages. After getting back out, the Haas then came to a stop after turn nine, but the team were able to recover the car and back out in the afternoon.
There were yet more difficulties at McLaren, with Fernando Alonso stopping twice on circuit with their persistent electrical issues. The team once again covered the least laps of anyone, but Alonso was able to lower the team’s fastest lap of the test on ultra soft tyres, albeit over two-and-a-half seconds off the pace.
Lance Stroll capped off a much more impressive second week of testing with over 120 laps to his name and producing his personal best lap of the test. Crucially, the rookie did not make any significant errors during the final week of the test.
With the traditional ‘golden hour’ just before the lunch break producing the best times, Kimi Raikkonen bolted on a set of super soft tyres and pushed his Ferrari to a 1’18.634, comfortably the quickest time of the day and of the two weeks of testing with no obvious signs of sandbagging.
Raikkonen covered over 100 laps on the day, but an apparent failure on the SF70H with around 90 minutes left in the day looked as though it would put an early stop to Ferrari’s testing programme. However, Ferrari were able to get Raikkonen back out in the closing minutes.
Carlos Sainz produced Toro Rosso’s personal best time of testing in the Toro Rosso, recording the third-fastest time of the day. After adding over 100 laps to the team’s total, Sainz stopped on the main straight late in the day with an apparent mechanical gremlin.
Mercedes quietly ticked over 4,000km and 1,000 laps over the two week test, but did not look to be pushing to their maximum, with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton recording times that were well within their bests.
With the test now concluded, the next time drivers will have the opportunity to get behind the wheels of their new cars in anger will be at first practice for the Australian Grand Prix two weeks from today.
|Pos.||Car number||Driver||Team||Model||Best time||Gap||Laps|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||RB13||1’19.438||0.804||71|
|3||55||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||STR12||1’19.837||1.203||132|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||VJM10||1’20.116||1.482||128|
Combined times by team for all eight days of testing
2017 F1 season
- Stripping Verstappen of 2017 US podium was “one of the toughest decisions” – steward
- Sepang pays Haas compensation for Grosjean’s 2017 crash
- Williams revenues rose in 2017 after Bottas deal with Mercedes
- New kerbs at COTA in response to Verstappen’s corner-cutting
- Australian Grand Prix cost government £56 million last year