Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Force India lead Haas on day three

2016 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

It was all change at the top of the timing sheets on the third day of testing as Force India led F1 newcomers Haas at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Nico Hulkenberg led proceedings for much of the day, initially setting the pace on medium compound tyres before working through the soft and super-soft compounds. He ended up quickest on a 1’23.110, 0.3 seconds off the benchmark time set by Sebastian Vettel yesterday using ultra-soft tyres.

Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
A strong day for Haas: Grosjean was second. More pictures
With 20 minutes left to run in the session Romain Grosjean gave the clearest indication so far of the pace of the Haas VF-16. Using soft tyres he moved up to second-fastest. The car continued to use reinforced front wing pylons following the failure Grosjean experienced on Monday.

For the first time in this test Ferrari did not end the day with the fastest time. Kimi Raikkonen ended his first day in the SF16-H third-fastest having sat out almost all of the morning’s running while the team checked a fuel system problem.

Renault had a more productive day with Kevin Magnussen logging 100 laps, though his car came to a stop shortly afterwards. It wasn’t seen again, and nor was Jenson Button’s McLaren after it began to smoke at the pit lane exit.

Mercedes opted to divide the day’s running between its two drivers due to the high mileages it achieved on the opening day. Today was not quite as busy for the team as yesterday, but between them Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg amassed another 161 laps.

That equalled the tally of Carlos Sainz Jnr who had a busy day in the Toro Rosso STR11 despite suffering a breakdown at the pit exit early in the session.

Rio Haryanto made his debut for Manor but brought the red flags out when he spun into the gravel at turn five.

Today’s fastest times

Pos. Car number Driver Team Model Best time Gap Laps Tyres
1 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India VJM09 1’23.110 99 Super-soft
2 8 Romain Grosjean Haas VF-16 1’25.874 2.764 82 Soft
3 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari SF16-H 1’25.977 2.867 77 Medium
4 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault RS16 1’26.014 2.904 111 Soft
5 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W07 1’26.084 2.974 74 Medium
6 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso STR11 1’26.239 3.129 161 Medium
7 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber C34 1’26.392 3.282 115 Soft
8 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W07 1’26.421 3.311 87 Medium
9 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull RB12 1’26.497 3.387 74 Medium
10 19 Felipe Massa Williams FW38 1’26.712 3.602 109 Medium
11 22 Jenson Button McLaren MP4-31 1’26.919 3.809 51 Medium
12 88 Rio Haryanto Manor MRT05 1’28.249 5.139 77 Medium

Teams’ fastest times – full test

Position Team Model Time
1 Ferrari SF16-H 1’22.810
2 Force India VJM09 1’23.110
3 Red Bull RB12 1’23.525
4 Mercedes W07 1’24.867
5 Haas VF-16 1’25.524
6 Williams FW38 1’25.648
7 Manor MRT05 1’25.925
8 Renault RS16 1’26.014
9 McLaren MP4-31 1’26.082
10 Toro Rosso STR11 1’26.239

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.

NB. Sauber is using its 2015 car.

2016 F1 season

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