Lotus headed the testing times for the third time in four days in Barcelona thanks to Romain Grosjean. But a late lap by Nico Rosberg hinted at the ultimate potential of the Mercedes.
Grosjean’s lap of 1’24.067, set on Pirelli’s revised super-soft compound, was the quickest of the test and over a second faster than last year’s pole position time at the Circuit de Catalunya. However Rosberg lapped within three-tenths of a second of it using medium compound tyres which should be considerably slower.
Rosberg began his day with a minor spin that resulted in little damage. However the incident suffered by Fernando Alonso in the McLaren was more serious.
Alonso was on his 20th lap when he lost control of the McLaren and struck a wall at turn three. He was taken to the medical centre for checks and then to a nearby hospital. McLaren did not run again for the rest of the day.
But he wasn’t the only driver to find the barrier: Carlos Sainz Jnr also crashed the Toro Rosso.
Nico Hulkenberg had a limited first day of running in Force India’s 2014 chassis, coming to a smoky stop after just 36 laps. Valtteri Bottas was also forced to stop due to a technical problem on his Williams, but returned to the track late in the day to set the fifth-fastest time.
|1||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Mercedes E23||1’24.067||111||Super-soft|
|2||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes W06||1’24.321||131||0.254||Medium|
|3||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault RB11||1’24.941||104||0.874||Soft|
|4||Felipe Nasr||Sauber-Ferrari C34||1’24.956||73||0.889||Super-soft|
|5||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes FW37||1’25.345||129||1.278||Soft|
|6||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso-Renault STR10||1’25.604||88||1.537||Super-soft|
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari SF15-T||1’26.312||76||2.245||Soft|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes VJM07||1’26.591||36||2.524||Soft|
|9||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MP4-30||1’27.956||20||3.889||Medium|
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