Vettel fastest as Mercedes suffers first stoppage

Sebastian Vettel ensured Ferrari remained king of the timesheets on the final morning of Formula 1’s second pre-season test at Barcelona.

The German, after a brief trial with Halo cockpit protection on his installation run, produced the second best time of the week when he equipped the ultrasofts to lap the Spanish track in 1m22.852s.

That was 0.087s slower than Kimi Raikkonen’s best Wednesday effort on the same compound, and put Vettel 0.282s clear of nearest challenger Carlos Sainz, also on ultrasofts in the Toro Rosso.

Sergio Perez was third quickest for Force India, 0.869s off the pace on supersofts, ahead of Lewis Hamilton on mediums, the reigning champion 1.281s slower than Vettel.

However, the Mercedes driver’s session came to a premature halt when he stopped the end of the pitlane with just over 10 minutes to go with a transmission problem.

It was the first time one of the Brackley-based squad’s cars has caused a red flag since the start of testing, as well as the only real drama of a fairly uneventful morning.

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Jenson Button (McLaren) completed the top half-dozen, the only other drivers to lap within two seconds of Vettel.

After a troubled day on Thursday, Romain Grosjean enjoyed a smooth morning of running, placing ninth and logging 53 laps in the car he will hand over to Esteban Gutierrez after lunch.

Despite his late stoppage, Hamilton still managed the most laps of the morning with 69, ahead of Felipe Massa on 63, although the Williams driver was slowest of those to set a lap.

Rio Haryanto squeezed in one installation lap at the very end of the morning, Manor having reporting an unspecified technical problem that left the MRT05 in the garage prior to that.

Day 4, morning test times:

1   S. Vettel  Ferrari  1:22.852  54
2   C. Sainz  Toro Rosso  1:23.134  57
3   S. Perez  Force India  1:23.721  44
4   L. Hamilton  Mercedes  1:24.133  69
5   D. Ricciardo  Red Bull  1:24.427  61
6   J. Button  McLaren  1:24.714  56
7   J. Palmer   Renault  1:24.859  31
8   M. Ericsson  Sauber  1:25.031  57
9   R. Grosjean  Haas  1:25.255  53
10   F. Massa  Williams  1:25.696  63
11   R. Haryanto  Manor  no time  1

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Mercedes , Ferrari
Article type Testing report