Formula 1 testing: Kimi Raikkonen fastest at lunch as McLaren break down twice
- Updated: March 10, 2017
Kimi Raikkonen has set a new fastest lap of pre-season testing, beating the mark laid down by his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel on Thursday.
The Finn’s lap of one minute 18.634 seconds was 0.39secs quicker than Vettel’s time and is 0.686secs faster than anything Mercedes have managed.
It underlined the impression that Ferrari could be a real threat at the first race in Australia on 24-26 March.
McLaren’s dismal winter continued in Barcelona with two on-track stoppages.
Fernando Alonso suffered the same intermittent electrical problem that caused two on-track stoppages for team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne on Thursday.
The Spaniard ended the morning slowest of 10 drivers, 4.1secs behind Raikkonen.
The Finn’s time was all the more impressive for being set on super-soft tyres – Vettel had used the theoretically faster ultra-softs to set his best time on Thursday.
Raikkonen did also use the ultra-softs but was 0.3secs slower than his best lap.
Red Bull also showed some strong pace with Max Verstappen second fastest on a 1:19.438, 0.4secs ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton takes over in the Mercedes in the afternoon session.
Pre-season testing times are notoriously unreliable indicators of true form because there are so many possible variables in the specification of the cars.
But the growing feeling within F1 is that Ferrari may start the season with a genuinely competitive car for the first time since 2008.
Fastest times, day four morning session, final pre-season test
1 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:18.634 **
2 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:19.438 **
3 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:19.845 ***
4 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:19.885 ***
5 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:20.116 ***
6 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso 1:20.281 **
7 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 1:20.335 *
8 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:21.429 *
9 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber 1:21.670 **
10 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren ***
*** = ultra-soft tyre; ** = super-soft; * = soft