Nico Hulkenberg fastest in Barcelona F1 test as Ferrari hits reliability trouble
Nico Hulkenberg topped the times on the third day of the first Formula 1 winter test of 2016, as Ferrari encountered reliability troubles and Merce...
Nico Hulkenberg topped the times on the third day of the first Formula 1 winter test of 2016, as Ferrari encountered reliability troubles and Mercedes split its running to preserve the fitness of its drivers.
Hulkenberg’s time of 1m23.110s, which he set on the supersoft tyres mid-way through the afternoon session, came on his first day in the new Force India.
The German driver, who was also fastest at the day’s halfway point, completed 99 laps around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Silverstone-based squad.
Romain Grosjean made up for the time he lost after a front wing failure on Monday as the Haas F1 driver racked up 82 laps and set the second fastest time of the day on the soft compound tyres just 20 minutes before the chequered flag came out.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen endured a frustrating morning on his first day at the wheel of the SF16-H as a series of fuel system checks meant he did not post a time before the lunch break.
The Finnish driver did eventually complete 77 laps for the Scuderia and he ended the day third fastest on a 1m25.977s, after his teammate Sebastian Vettel had topped the timesheets on the opening two days of the test.
Kevin Magnussen managed 110 laps on his F1 return, 31 more than his teammate Joylon Palmer had done in the previous two days.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Danish driver as he brought out the third red flag of the day with an hour to go when his RS16 came to a halt on the pit straight. Magnussen then stopped again at the pit exit late in the session but his car was recovered without a further interruption.
Nico Rosberg was the fastest Mercedes driver in fifth place and his teammate Lewis Hamilton, who had been scheduled to undertake the whole day’s running, was eighth fastest.
Mercedes opted to split the final two days of the test into two half-days each for Rosberg and Hamilton because the team’s high mileage from the opening two days meant it decided to preserve their fitness levels.
In total the two Mercedes drivers used the medium tyres to complete another 162 laps on Wednesday, just one more than Carlos Sainz managed for Toro Rosso.
The Spanish driver ended up sixth fastest but did cause a red flag when he was forced to stop at the pit exit with a loose wheel in the first hour of the day.
Felipe Nasr ended up in seventh place in the 2015 Sauber – the team will bring its 2016 car to the next test – just ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, who completed 74 laps.
Felipe Massa was tenth for Williams on his first day in the FW38, with Jenson Button 11th for McLaren. The 2009 world champion completed 71 laps, the fewest of any driver, as a small fire caused by a hydraulic leak ended his day 30 minutes early.
Rio Haryanto made his F1 debut for Manor as he took over from fellow rookie Pascal Wehrlein and ended the day in 12th place. Indonesia’s first F1 driver managed 77 laps, but brought out the red flags when he spun in the morning session.
Results: Barcelona test one, day three:
1 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m23.110s, 99 laps
2 Romain Grosjean Haas 1m25.874s +2.764s, 82 laps
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m25.977s +2.867s, 78 laps
4 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m26.014s +2.904s, 111 laps
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.084s +2.974s, 74 laps
6 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1m26.239s +3.129s, 161 laps
7 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1m26.392s +3.282s, 115 laps
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.421s +3.311s, 88 laps
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1m26.497s +3.387s, 74 laps
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1m26.712s +3.602s, 109 laps
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1m26.919s +3.809s, 51 laps
12 Rio Haryanto Manor 1m28.249s +5.139s, 78 laps
What do you make of today's running? Which team has impressed you most so far in winter testing? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
Hulkenberg: No reason to celebrate pacesetting day
Hamilton says move towards heavier F1 cars is "ridiculous"
About this article