Lewis Hamilton has finished as the fastest man on the penultimate day of pre-season testing for the 2015 Formula One world championship. The reigning world champion, who will next step behind the wheel of the Mercedes W06 in Friday practice in Australia, was three tenths of a second slower than the best time seen in testing set by team-mate Nico Rosberg yesterday. On a day when the 9 drivers completed a combined total of 1010 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya, Hamilton was one of only two drivers not to complete over 100 laps. Hamilton’s time was set on a set of soft compound Pirelli tyres, the same tyres used by Rosberg on his fastest lap yesterday.
Former team-mates Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were 2nd and 3rd fastest for Williams and Ferrari. The pair were separated by just over a hundredth of a second after 102 and 136 laps respectively. Many believe that these two teams could well be the closest competition to the world champions at Mercedes.
Carlos Sainz was 4th fastest at his home-track in the Toro Rosso. The Spaniard completed a race simulation during the day’s running and would end the day with 132 laps and a fastest lap of 1’24.191. As with Massa and Raikkonen before, Sainz was closely matched with 5th place Romain Grosjean, who was just 9 thousandths of a second slower in his Lotus after 116 laps. 2 tenths behind Grosjean was yet another lap centurion, Marcus Ericsson. The Sauber driver completed 123 laps including a race simulation. The C33 also completed a race distance yesterday with Felipe Nasr behind the wheel.
Nico Hulkenberg was in the 2015 Force India once again on its second day of running this year. For a car that hadn’t turned a wheel before yesterday, there have been hardly any teething issues; with the German completing the most laps by a single driver today and over the course of all pre-season testing at Catalunya after 158 laps. Nico was also only 1.9 seconds off of Hamilton’s fastest lap.
Kevin Magnussen was in the cockpit of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30 after the team’s most successful day of testing yesterday. The team completed 101 laps with Jenson Button yesterday before handing the car over to their 2014 driver due to Alonso’s absence. The team didn’t have as productive a day than they’d seen yesterday, with the team forced to end running early due to an oil leak. Magnussen did manage to set the team’s fastest lap of the week with a 1’25.225 after 39 laps. He finished ahead of the final driver on the time-sheets, Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bull may have been last, but it too completed 128 laps of the circuit.
Barcelona pre-season test day 7 time-sheets:
|4||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1’24.191||132|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1’24.939||158|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1’25.742||128|