Bottas ends final day of Barcelona F1 testing on top

Early super-soft run means Williams packs up early, with Mercedes content to shield its pace advantage once again.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams set the fastest time of the day as Formula One’s pre-season testing came to a close at Barcelona in Spain, with the next scheduled official on-track running being free practice for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in a fortnight.

Williams ended its running early, satisfied that it has all the data it needs for a successful start to the season with its new FW37. Bottas completed his super-soft tyre run in 1:23.063 to top today’s times.

Mercedes, who are the undoubted favourites heading into Melbourne, again kept its underlying pace hidden. Nico Rosberg concentrated solely on hard- and medium-tyre running today, and ended the session only seventh fastest.

Ferrari ended its pre-season testing in much more confident mood than it finished last season, with Sebastian Vettel’s second-quickest time of 1:23.469 giving them a good benchmark for Melbourne.

Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completed a race simulation, recorded the most laps of the day (159) and set the third fastest time to send the Swiss team to Melbourne confident of getting some points on the board after a disastrous 2014.

Problems for Toro Rosso, Red Bull, McLaren and Lotus

Toro Rosso caused a red flag this afternoon when Max Verstappen encountered an engine problem with his Renault unit. He returned to the track after two hours of repairs and set the fourth fastest time right at the end of the session.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo lost a lot of time in the morning with an early ERS problem with his Renault power unit. He was fifth fastest upon his return to the track, ahead of Sergio Perez’s Force India.

Jenson Button set the eighth fastest time as McLaren finally got some running in this afternoon after an engine issue delayed his start to the day. Again, the Honda-powered car could only complete 30 laps, a fraction of most of its rivals – giving huge concern going into Melbourne.

The main incident of the day involved Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado, who suffered a heavy accident after a brake problem, hitting the tyrewall at Turn 4 and inflicting serious damage to the his E23 machine.

He ended the day slowest, over 5s off the pace, and did not return to the track.

 

Barcelona Day Four times

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
 1. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.063s   89
 2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m23.469s +0.406 129
 3. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.023s +0.960 159
 4. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.527s +1.464 85
 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m24.638s +1.575 72
 6. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m25.113s +2.050 130
 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.186s +2.123 148
 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m25.327s +2.264 30
 9. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 1m28.272s +5.209 35

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing II
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Drivers Jenson Button , Nico Rosberg , Pastor Maldonado , Sebastian Vettel , Sergio Perez , Daniel Ricciardo , Valtteri Bottas , Felipe Nasr , Max Verstappen
Article type Testing report
Tags barcelona, f1 testing