Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg posted the quickest time during a run on Super Soft tyres on the third day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Hülkenberg had been quickest on both the Medium tyres during the morning and the Soft rubber early in the afternoon session, before he improved further on the Super Soft compound.
Hülkenberg’s time of 1:23.110 proved to be 2.764s faster than Haas’ Romain Grosjean, whose best time came on the Soft compound on another impressive day for the team.
Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen was third, but the Finn had a disrupted morning after the team conducted fuel system checks on his car.
Räikkönen led a train of closely matched drivers, with only a second covering the bulk of the remainder of the field.
Kevin Magnussen retuned to the cockpit of a Formula 1 car for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix last March and racked up 103 laps for Renault.
Magnussen stopped at the pit exit during the final hour and an issue struck again when he tried to re-join the circuit with 15 minutes remaining in the session, though he was able to complete a final couple of laps at the end.
Mercedes split duties between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in order to avoid driver fatigue, a policy which they will maintain on Thursday and throughout the second test next week.
Rosberg was fifth quickest in the W07 Hybrid while Hamilton was eighth as both drivers completed substantial mileage.
Carlos Sainz Jr. stopped exiting the pits after a suspected loose wheel during Toro Rosso’s pit stop practice, but nonetheless had a productive day in the STR11 and completed the most laps.
Felipe Nasr was seventh in Sauber’s 2015 car while Daniil Kvyat received his first taste of Red Bull’s RB11 and finished ninth.
Felipe Massa had a productive but low-key day for Williams and rounded out the top 10.
Jenson Button was 11th for McLaren-Honda as he was pulled back into the garage due to a hydraulics leak, ending his day early.
Button was the only driver not to complete mileage equivalent to a race distance at the Spanish Grand Prix venue.
Indonesia’s first Formula 1 driver Rio Haryanto made his test bow for new team Manor.
Haryanto caused a red flag when his car came to a halt facing backwards in the gravel at Turn 5, but was able to return to the circuit and set a respectable time during the final minute.
|1||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:23.110||99|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||Toro Rosso||1:26.239||161|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||1:26.497||74|