Vettel fastest as pre-season testing ends

By on Friday, March 4, 2016
Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ensured the outfit topped five of the eight days of testing as Formula 1’s 2016 pre-season came to a close on Friday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Vettel, who completed an installation lap with the ‘halo’ protection device early on, set a time of 1:22.852 during the morning session to finish 0.282s clear of Carlos Sainz Jr.

The Toro Rosso driver recorded his fastest time on Pirelli’s Ultra Soft tyre, compared to the Super Soft approach adopted by Vettel.

Felipe Massa was 0.792s adrift for Williams in third place, a tenth of a second ahead of fellow Mercedes-powered racer Sergio Pérez.

Pérez’s day, and Force India’s test, came to a premature end when he suffered a mechanical failure with three hours remaining.

Pérez crawled through the second sector with smoke trailing from his VJM09, before coming to a halt at Turn 12.

Mercedes had one of its least productive days, by its lofty standards, and caused a red flag when Lewis Hamilton stopped along the pit straight 10 minutes before the lunch break.

Mercedes quickly identified a transmission problem with the W07 Hybrid and Nico Rosberg was able to resume duties in the afternoon without too much of a delay.

Hamilton finished the day in fifth place while Rosberg was at the foot of the 13 driver time sheet after focusing on long runs.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth for Red Bull, ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button and Renault rookie Jolyon Palmer, who was plagued by more reliability issues when a hydraulics problem affected his RS16 in the morning.

Marcus Ericsson had a more productive day in the Sauber C35 and finished ninth, while Romain Grosjean placed 10th before handing the final hour of running to team-mate Esteban Gutiérrez.

The Mexican was able to add a small number of laps to his tally, having suffered a disrupted time earlier in the week due to a fuel system issue.

Manor rookie Rio Haryanto missed most of the morning session due to a problem with his MRT05 but managed an installation lap before lunch and added further mileage to his Australia preparations in the afternoon.

The Indonesian ended the day three seconds off the pace on Super Softs, but was unable to improve on the Ultra Soft compound later on.

15Sebastian VettelFerrari1:22.852142
255Carlos Sainz JrToro Rosso1:23.134131
319Felipe MassaWilliams1:23.644129
411Sergio PerezForce India1:23.72160
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:24.13369
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:24.427123
722Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:24.714120
830Jolyon PalmerRenault1:24.85990
99Marcus EricssonSauber1:25.031132
108Romain GrosjeanHaas1:25.25566
1121Esteban GutierrezHaas1:25.42225
1188Rio HaryantoManor1:25.89958
136Nico RosbergMercedes1:26.14070

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