Kimi Raikkonen put Ferrari at the top of the Jerez timesheets for the third day in four as the first week of pre-season testing came to a close on Wednesday.
Raikkonen used soft tyres on a dry track to set the fastest time of the test under sunny skies, beating the time set by team-mate Sebastian Vettel on Monday by over a tenth of a second. Ferrari also completed more than a century of laps in a day for the first time this week with a total of the Finn’s 105.
There was more slow progress for both McLaren and Red Bull as the two former championship-winning teams struggled again for mileage. From its starting point on Sunday and Monday, McLaren has made progress, but a total of 79 laps over the course of the week is a long way off its pre-test target. Positives came from multiple-lap runs without major issues such as overheating, but smaller reliability problems kept it from running throughout the day.
The first run went all of two feet onto the pit apron before the car was rolled back and there was a similar issue as Jenson Button tried to take to the track and stopped in the pit lane on one of his afternoon runs. The team finally called it a day just over an hour before the end of the session when a fuel pump problem could not be fixed. Nevertheless, the team is confident it can be competitive when it is able to turn its power unit up to full power and chase lap times.
Red Bull had another slow start to the day as an ERS problem on its Renault power unit forced Daniil Kvyat to park the RB11 on the side of the track. After engine issues on day one, a broken front wing on day two and a full power unit change on day three, the team has only completed 164 laps, which means only McLaren has completed fewer over the course of the four days.
Defending champions Mercedes once again topped the lap count with 117 for Lewis Hamilton despite a half spin in the morning at the chicane. The total for the week comes to 517, a remarkable feat for any team on the first week of running with a new car. Although Mercedes is only interested in mileage this week, Hamilton set the third fastest time with a 1:22.172, which was 1.331s off Raikkonen and 0.153s off Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber. Ericsson’s time meant the two Ferrari-powered cars topped all four of this week’s sessions.
Elsewhere, Max Verstappen added another 97 laps to his tally for the week in the Toro Rosso and Felipe Massa completed 73 laps for Williams. Romain Grosjean took to the track for the first time this year and was impressed with his new Mercedes-powered Lotus. However, a power unit-related problem brought his day to an early end after 53 laps.
Jerez Test Day 4 Times: 1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.841 105 laps 2. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:22.019 111 laps 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.172 116 laps 4. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:22.553 97 laps 5. Felipe Massa Williams 1:23.116 73 laps 6. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:23.802 53 laps 7. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:23.975 63 laps 8. Jenson Button McLaren 1:27.980 35 laps