Bottas fastest as Raikkonen crashes on day two
- Updated: March 10, 2017
Kimi Raikkonen crashed his Ferrari as Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap of the winter on the second day of the final pre-season test.
Raikkonen lost control and spun at the 160mph Turn Three during the afternoon, hitting the barrier and damaging the front wing and suspension.
He was unhurt but the crash ended Ferrari’s running for the day.
Bottas set the pace with a lap of one minute 19.310 seconds, 0.11secs quicker than Williams’ Felipe Massa.
Three-time champion Lewis Hamilton set the sixth-fastest time for Mercedes.
It was another difficult day for McLaren, who have been beset by reliability and performance problems with their Honda engine so far in pre-season.
The team insisted they suffered no specific problems but two-time champion Fernando Alonso managed only 46 laps – compared with a total of 149 for the two Mercedes drivers.
The Spaniard, who was 12th fastest, was 2.6secs slower than the fastest driver [Raikkonen] who also used the ‘soft’ tyre to set his quickest time.
In a far less extreme fashion, it was also a frustrating day for Red Bull. Although Max Verstappen completed more laps than any other individual driver, the team had to complete a change of a Renault engine and the Dutchman also ground to a stop out on track a few laps from the end of a race-simulation run.
Bottas was using the super-soft tyre and Massa the ultra-soft when they set their fastest times.
Headline lap times in pre-season are notoriously inaccurate predictions for true competitive form.
Although Bottas was 0.9secs quicker than Raikkonen on the day, the margin between the soft and super-soft tyres is said to be about 0.6-0.7secs. On that basis alone, Bottas’ lap was of comparable pace to the fastest soft-tyre lap of last week’s first test, set by Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel and the German’s lap on the first day of this week’s test on Tuesday.
There are countless other variables to take into account, such as fuel load, engine mode, car settings and so on, all of which can have a significant effect on lap time.
Final pre-season test, day two, fastest times
1 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:19.310 **
2 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams 1:19.420 ***
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:20.406 *
4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:20.432 *
5 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 1:20.579 **
6 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:20.702 *
7 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:21.213 **
8 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:21.297 **
9 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso 1:21.872 *
10 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:21.887 ***
11 Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Sauber 1:23.000 *
12 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:23.041 *
13 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber 1:23.384 *
14 Jolyon Palmer (GB) Renault 1:26.462 **
* = time set on soft tyre; ** = super-soft tyre; *** = ultra-soft tyre. Others medium