Day three of test ends with the World Champion outpacing the pack, despite running a harder tyre.
Lewis Hamilton underlined Mercedes’ pace advantage ahead of the 2015 Formula One World Championship by outpacing rivals Williams and Ferrari in Saturday’s test.
Hot on the heels of Nico Rosberg’s 1:22.792 lap yesterday, Hamilton delivered a 1:23.022 on the soft tyre that was a quarter of a second faster than Williams’s Felipe Massa and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who produced almost identical times on the super-soft tyre in qualifying-simulation-style runs before lunch.
The performance emphasized what many were saying in the paddock in the last 24 hours: that Mercedes has a pace advantage of anything up to a second on the same tyre as rivals.
Romain Grosjean set the fourth fastest time for Lotus, over a second off Hamilton’s pace, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, who caused a red flag by stopping after setting his fastest lap.
Nico Hulkenberg in the new Force India was seventh, but got through a mammoth 158 laps, ahead of McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen – who had to stop early due to an oil leak and only completed 39 tours all day – and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Barcelona Day Three times
|4.||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m24.191s||+1.169||132|
|7.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1m24.939s||+1.917||158|
|9.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1m25.742s||+2.720||128|