Formula one: Maldonado fastest again for Lotus on day 3 of Catalunya test
Pastor Maldonado has finished as the fastest man in pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya for the second time in three days. The Lotus driver set the fastest time of the test so far, a 1’24.348, on the fastest tyre compound available. He also completed an impressive 104 laps in the E23.
Second fastest was the driver with the most amount of laps completed today. Toro Rosso teenager Max Verstappen completed 129 laps and was 4 tenths of a second shy of the fastest time set by Maldonado. Max’s day came to an end in the last few minutes of running after his car ground to a halt at the end of the pit-lane.
There was then a gap of 1.3 seconds between 2nd place and Lewis Hamilton in 3rd. The Briton finally completed his first full day of running in this test after being ill Thursday and sharing the car with team-mate Rosberg yesterday. He completed 101 laps in the Mercedes.
4th fastest was Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber. The Swedish driver completed a low number of laps if we compare it to what we have seen from Sauber in pre-season testing so far. A total of 53 laps was completed by Marcus today, but the team still remain as one of the teams with the most amount of mileage this pre-season.
Sebastian Vettel in the #5 Ferrari was one of the five drivers to complete a century of laps in today’s test. The German completed 105 laps, the most he has completed in one day all year, with the 5th fastest lap. The day didn’t start as well as the quadruple world champion would’ve hoped after he beached the car in the gravel on his first out-lap; causing the first red flag of the day.
Vettel’s old team of Red Bull continued to showcase their improvement, with Daniil Kvyat completed 112 laps, the second largest amount today, on his way to the 6th fastest time. The team elected to focus more on race simulations during today’s running. Kvyat was 4 tenths faster than 7th placed Felipe Massa, who shared the day’s running with Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas who finished as the 9th fastest driver. The pair completed a combined total of 104 laps over the course of the day. Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein split the two Williams drivers as he continued testing for Force India in their 2014 car.
McLaren finished on the bottom of the time-sheet with driver Jenson Button after completing just 24 laps. The team experienced a repeat of their MGU-K seal failure that had previously happened on Thursday.
Barcelona pre-season test day 3 time-sheets: