Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Raikkonen fastest but Mercedes take 1,000km lead

2016 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Ferrari were quickest for the third time in four days at the Circuit de Catalunya but rivals Mercedes continued their impressive start to the season with another high-mileage day.

Kimi Raikkonen used a set of the new ultra-soft tyres to post the day’s benchmark time of 1’23.477, six-tenths of a second off the time his team mate set on the same rubber two days earlier.

The only other driver to set their best time on the ultra-soft tyres was Daniil Kvyat. Force India test driver Alfonso Celis followed up the team’s session-topping time yesterday with the third-quickest effort on super-soft tyres.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Mercedes’ new nose. More pictures
Renault enjoyed their most productive day so far with Kevin Magnussen covering well more than two races distances in his RS16. He also set the team’s quickest lap of the test so far.

Mercedes stuck to its game plan of accruing as much mileage as possible while not chasing headline times. It two race drivers shared the car again and both continued to work exclusively on the medium compound tyre while also testing a revised nose.

Lewis Hamilton completed one-and-a-half race distances before the lunch break. By the end of the day Nico Rosberg’s contribution was enough that the team has now covered over 1,000 kilometres more ground in four days of running than any of its rivals.

McLaren were first out of the blocks in the morning, sending Fernando Alonso straight out onto the track as the lights went green. However he returned to the garage after just three laps and was never seen again – a coolant leak meant the team suffered by far its least productive day of the test.

Only Manor has covered less ground in testing so far than McLaren. Rio Haryanto, who spun the car on his debut yesterday, made it as far as a barrier today and brought out the red flags.

The other red flag was caused by Esteban Gutierrez, though Haas at least managed to continue increasing the VF-16’s mileage on each day of the test, hitting a new high of 89 laps.

Today’s fastest times

Pos. Car number Driver Team Model Best time Gap Laps Tyres
1 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari SF16-H 1’23.477 80 Ultra-soft
2 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull RB12 1’24.293 0.816 96 Ultra-soft
3 34 Alfonso Celis Force India VJM09 1’24.840 1.363 75 Super-soft
4 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault RS16 1’25.263 1.786 153 Soft
5 33 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso STR11 1’25.393 1.916 110 Medium
6 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber C34 1’26.053 2.576 121 Soft
7 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W07 1’26.187 2.710 86 Medium
8 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W07 1’26.295 2.818 99 Medium
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams FW38 1’26.483 3.006 54 Soft
10 21 Esteban Gutierrez Haas VF-16 1’27.802 4.325 89 Medium
11 88 Rio Haryanto Manor MRT05 1’28.266 4.789 51 Soft
12 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren MP4-31 3

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 Renault RS16 1’25.263
6 Toro Rosso STR11 1’25.393
7 Haas VF-16 1’25.524
8 Williams FW38 1’25.648
9 Manor MRT05 1’25.925
10 McLaren MP4-31 1’26.082

2016 cars only

Teams’ mileages – full test

Team Total distance (km)
Mercedes 3,137.47
Toro Rosso 2,080.785
Sauber 2,010.96 (2015 car)
Williams 1,792.175
Red Bull 1,717.695
Ferrari 1,638.56
Renault 1,596.665
Force India 1,550.115
Haas 1,308.055
McLaren 1,196.335
Manor 1,177.715

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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