Kimi Räikkönen has taken Ferrari-powered cars to a clean sweep of the timesheets as the first four-day pre-season test drew to a close. The 2007 World Champion clocked a best time of 1:20.841, the fastest lap time of the entire test event.
After teammate Sebastian Vettel led the way in the opening two days and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr held top spot on the third day, Räikkönen spent his day progressively whittling away at his lap times. Starting out on the Hard tyres before switching to the Medium compounds, he bolted on a set of Soft tyres with 90 minutes to go to put himself over a second clear of the rest of the field.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson repeated the Swiss team’s strategy of a Soft tyre hot lap – although it had to defend itself against claims that this was little more than a headline and sponsor-grabbing strategy – to go second-quickest with a 1:22.019 time. His outing came to a close later in the day with a deliberate stop on track to simulate a fuel systems check.
Once again it was the Silver Arrows which led the way in the mileage stakes, with Lewis Hamilton tallying up over 100 laps en route to the third-fastest time of 1:22.172. The Englishman lost an hour of running thanks to a spin at the chicane midway through the day.
Scuderia Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen was next up on the timing screens, falling just short of breaking the 100-lap mark as his familiarisation with the STR10 continues; he finished ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa, who managed another race distance in the FW37.
Romain Grosjean finally got behind the wheel of the Lotus E23 Hybrid and had his first opportunity to sample the team’s new Mercedes power units. Unfortunately one of those said units concluded his day early with 53 laps on the board at the time.
Red Bull Racing was still continuing to play catch-up with its RB11 and found itself towards the bottom of the timesheets once again. Having ruined his first day of running by damaging the car’s only front wing, Daniil Kvyat kept it neat and tidy this time around and finished up one-tenth slower than Grosjean. The Russian lost some track time with an ERS issue in his Renault power unit, but the mechanics were able to get the problem fixed quickly.
McLaren once again brought up the rear with its Honda-powered MP4-30, which continues to be beset with problems with the brand new power unit. Jenson Button stopped twice – once with an oil level alert, another was a fuel pump failure – and had his running limited to 35 laps. It was the most laps the new car had turned over the past four days, but still well short of what its rivals were achieving.
The next pre-season test takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from February 19-22.
2015 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Jerez Day 4 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:20.841||105|
|2.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:22.019||+ 1.178||111|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:22.172||+ 1.331||117|
|4.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:22.553||+ 1.712||97|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:23.116||+ 2.275||73|
|6.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:23.802||+ 2.961||53|
|7.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:23.975||+ 3.134||63|
|8.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:27.660||+ 6.819||35|
Image via XPB Images