Mercedes chasers go to war on super-soft tyres, but they’re still slower than Rosberg from yesterday on softs.
Felipe Massa set the fastest time for Williams on the morning of the third day of testing at Barcelona on Saturday – but only just.
The Brazilian lapped the Circuit de Catalunya in 1:23.262 using the super-soft tyre on his Mercedes-powered FW37, a time that is half a second down on Nico Rosberg’s stunning time set on the soft tyre yesterday in his Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest for Ferrari, setting a 1:23.276 also on the super-soft tyre. His lap was just 0.014s slower than Massa’s.
Marcus Ericsson went third fastest for Sauber on the super-softs, as Nico Hulkenberg racked up the most number of laps in the session in the new Force India at 76, and also bolted on a set of super-softs to go fourth fastest.
Kevin Magnussen gave McLaren a boost with the fifth quickest time, the reserve driver – standing in for the recovering Fernando Alonso – lapped in 1:25.225 in his Honda-powered MP4-30 which was quicker than Jenson Button managed yesterday.
Lewis Hamilton fell to sixth in the timesheets, and parked his Mercedes W06 after 36 laps for what the team described as “experimental setup changes”.
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus) rounded out the nine cars running.
Barcelona Day Three morning times
|4.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1m24.939s||+1.677||76|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1m25.742s||+2.480||60|
|8.||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m26.330s||+3.068||53|