F1 Silverstone test: Raikkonen fastest for Ferrari on second day
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen concluded the year’s final in-season Formula 1 test with the quickest time of the second day at Silverstone.
Raikkonen posted his best lap of his 103 with 50 minutes remaining, clocking a 1m30.665s on the soft tyre, 0.216 seconds faster than his qualifying time for last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The Finn’s time was also six tenths up on the best from day one set by Fernando Alonso in his McLaren.
For the second successive day Mercedes development driver Esteban Ocon had to settle for second, finishing 0.547s down on Raikkonen.
And for the second successive day, Ocon also racked up the most laps, following up his 123 on day one with 139 on day two.
Pierre Gasly enjoyed a better day in the Red Bull after difficulties on Tuesday when cabling had to be replaced inside the car, restricting him to just seven laps in the morning before rain arrived.
The new GP2 race winner managed 103 laps, with his best a 1:31.429s on soft tyres to finish third on the timesheets.
Force India’s 17-year-old development driver Nikita Mazepin finished 0.896s behind Raikkonen having set his time on super-soft tyres, and 0.203s ahead of McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne, whose best lap from his 114 was run on Pirelli’s soft compound.
Valtteri Bottas was fifth quickest in his Williams, 1.758s behind Raikkonen, completing a late run with the double-decker rear-wing first seen during May’s in-season test at Barcelona.
Bottas was followed by Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci, with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer – primarily running the rule over a new suspension – eighth, 2.643s adrift of Raikkonen.
Palmer stopped on track just after the chequered flag was brought out.
On his F1 debut, Red Bull junior Sergio Sette Camara fared well with Toro Rosso, completing 82 laps and ending up 3.375s off the ultimate pace.
On his third outing for Manor, Jordan King was 10th and 4.395s in arrears, with only Pascal Wehrlein slower in the 2014 Mercedes.
Wehrlein was helping Pirelli assess compounds and structure concepts for its 2017 tyres, completing 128 laps, and with times not a concern as he finished 5.517s down.
DAY TWO TIMES:
|3||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.429s||0.764s||103|
|4||Nikita Mazepin||Force India/Mercedes||1m31.561s||0.896s||69|
|9||Sergio Sette Camara||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.040s||3.375s||82|
Ferrari’s troubles not Silverstone-specific admits Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen claims the problems experienced by the team over the course of the British Grand Prix weekend were not specific to Silverstone.
It was suggested after the grand prix, and by team-mate Sebastian Vettel in particular, that while the race was "weak" for the Scuderia, that performance slump was a one-off.
After being handed a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, Vettel could only manage ninth from 11th on the grid.
Raikkonen started and finished fifth, meaning Ferrari equalled its worst points haul of 2016 by scoring just 12.
During testing on Wednesday at Silverstone, Raikkonen said: "We’re doing normal testing work, all kinds of different things to try and find good things.
"It’s not just specifically we had some aero problem here, and this circuit needs a lot of aero, we’re lacking overall.
"For the next race in Hungary our car should definitely suit that circuit better. Is it good enough to challenge for a win? We’ll see."
Although Raikkonen is third in the drivers’ championship, eight points ahead of Vettel, the Finn has yet to stand on top of the podium since his return to Ferrari in 2014.
Raikkonen is convinced Ferrari can resolve its issues and win again this year, regardless of whether it happens on pure merit or via problems for rivals.
"We always expect more as a team, we want to win, and until we win all the time it’s not ideal," added Raikkonen.
"As Ferrari we expect to win, but this is what we have got, so we’ll keep working and improving.
"We will see what will happen in the second part of the year, and yes we believe we can still win. It doesn’t matter if every car is there or not.
"Who knows what will happen in the races, but we know we’ve work to be done, and for sure there will be circuits where it will be better."
As to whether Ferrari has a chance of either title given the considerable gaps in both championships to Mercedes, Raikkonen added: "We will keep working and improving, and not give up until it’s not possible any more.
"We know where Mercedes is, ahead of everybody right now, but it doesn’t mean we should give up or we’re not working on things. We will try to catch them up."
F1 testing round-up: Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari lead on raw pace
Kimi Raikkonen spearheaded a Ferrari one-two at the end of 2016 pre-season Formula 1 testing, but it was Mercedes that emerged literally miles ahead of its rivals on lap count.
After Vettel led the way at the end of the first test, Raikkonen responded to top the overall timesheet come the conclusion to the second at Barcelona’s Catalunya track.
Like Vettel in test one, Raikkonen’s leading time this week was set on the new-for-2016 ultra-soft compound, which he used to lap in 1m22.765s on day three.
More eye-catching, however, was Vettel using super-softs for his best lap on the final day. The four-time champion finished just 0.087 seconds behind Raikkonen in the week’s overall times, and was comfortably faster than anyone else had been on that compound.
Pirelli estimates there is a 0.5s-0.6s performance gap between the types of rubber, highlighting the impressive nature of Vettel’s run.
But Ferrari will no doubt be anxiously curious as to the true pace of its main rival Mercedes, which at barely any stage showed its hand – barring a blast on a set of soft tyres from Nico Rosberg on day one.
Rosberg’s lap of 1m23.022s was ultimately just 0.257s adrift of Raikkonen, and 0.170s behind Vettel, with Pirelli suggesting a time difference of 0.5s between the super-soft and soft tyres.
But when it comes to reliability, Mercedes was head and shoulders clear of not only Ferrari, but every other team.
To add to the 675 laps from test one, Mercedes amassed a further 619 in test two, amounting to 1790 miles this week, and 3742 over the eight days – the equivalent of 19.6 Spanish Grands Prix.
Toro Rosso was Mercedes’ closest rival on that front, clocking up 602 laps, for 3034 miles over the eight days, while Ferrari’s grand total proved to be 2470 miles, a considerable 1302 miles less than Mercedes.
Rosberg emerged as the lap leader from the second test with 324, and overall with 656, pipping Hamilton by just 18.
Toro Rosso, running with a 2015 Ferrari power unit this season, has every reason to be proud of its performance the past four days as Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr completed 303 and 299 laps respectively.
At the other end of the scale, Esteban Gutierrez managed just 49 as Haas endured a torrid week due to reliability issues, in stark contrast to its solid running in the first test.
McLaren and power unit supplier Honda showed they have moved on from last year’s disastrous test sessions that were the forerunner to one of the worst seasons in the Woking team’s history.
Over eight days at Barcelona in 2015, McLaren managed a paltry 301 laps, but fast forward 12 months and the Anglo-Japanese alliance achieved 710, with 453 in test two alone.
In terms of driver contrasts, there were none greater than at Renault as Kevin Magnussen enjoyed a trouble-free four days to accumulate 509 laps, whereas Jolyon Palmer was plagued by gremlins and totalled only 267.
COMBINED TEST TWO STATS:
Combined best times of week two: Pos Driver Car Time Gap Tyres 1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m22.765s US 2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m22.852s +0.087s SS 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.022s +0.257s S 4. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.134s +0.369s US 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m23.193s +0.428s S 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.229s +0.464s US 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m23.251s +0.486s US 8. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.382s +0.617s US 9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.622s +0.857s S 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m23.721s +0.956s SS 11. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m23.933s +1.168s SS 12. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG 1m24.427s +1.662s S 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m24.714s +1.949s US 14. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1m24.735s +1.970s S 15. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.760s +1.995s S 16. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m24.859s +2.094s SS 17. Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1m24.913s +2.148s US 18. Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.031s +2.266s S 19. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-TAG 1m25.049s +2.284s S 20. Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m25.255s +2.490s S 21. Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1m25.422s +2.657s SS 22. Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1m25.899s +3.134s US Total week two mileage per driver: 1. Nico Rosberg 937 2. Max Verstappen 876 3. Carlos Sainz Jr 865 4. Lewis Hamilton 853 5. Sebastian Vettel 847 6. Daniel Ricciardo 746 7. Nico Hulkenberg 746 8. Felipe Massa 717 9. Kevin Magnussen 709 10. Jenson Button 700 11. Valtteri Bottas 668 12. Felipe Nasr 633 13. Fernando Alonso 610 14. Kimi Raikkonen 602 15. Daniil Kvyat 550 16. Sergio Perez 544 17. Jolyon Palmer 544 18. Marcus Ericsson 541 19. Romain Grosjean 417 20. Pascal Wehrlein 367 21. Rio Haryanto 298 22. Esteban Gutierrez 142 Total week two mileage by team: 1. Mercedes 1790 2. Toro Rosso 1741 3. Ferrari 1449 4. Williams 1385 5. McLaren 1310 6. Red Bull 1296 7. Force India 1290 8. Renault 1252 9. Sauber 1174 10. Manor 665 11. Haas 558 Total week two mileage by engine: 1. Mercedes 5131 2. Ferrari 2016 3182 3. Renault/TAG 2548 4. Ferrari 2015 1741 5. Honda 1310
COMBINED OVERALL WINTER TESTING STATS
Combined fastest times of winter testing: Pos Driver Car Time Gap Tyres 1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m22.765s US 2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m22.810s +0.045s US 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.022s +0.257s S 4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m23.110s +0.345s SS 5. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.134s +0.369s US 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m23.193s +0.428s S 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.229s +0.464s SS 8. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.382s +0.617s US 9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG 1m23.525s +0.760s US 10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.622s +0.857s S 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m23.650s +0.885s SS 12. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m23.933s +1.168s SS 13. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-TAG 1m24.293s +1.528s US 14. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m24.714s +1.949s US 15. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1m24.735s +1.970s S 16. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.760s +1.995s S 17. Alfonso Celis Jr Force India-Mercedes 1m24.840s +2.075s SS 18. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m24.859s +2.094s SS 19. Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1m24.913s +2.148s US 20. Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.031s +2.266s S 21. Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m25.255s +2.490s S 22. Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1m25.422s +2.657s SS 23. Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1m25.899s +3.134s US Total winter testing mileage by driver: 1. Nico Rosberg 1897 2. Lewis Hamilton 1845 3. Max Verstappen 1545 4. Carlos Sainz Jr 1490 5. Kevin Magnussen 1472 6. Sebastian Vettel 1412 7. Daniel Ricciardo 1322 8. Felipe Nasr 1316 9. Valtteri Bottas 1287 10. Felipe Massa 1189 11. Marcus Ericsson 1108 12. Jenson Button 1090 13. Kimi Raikkonen 1059 14. Daniil Kvyat 1041 15. Nico Hulkenberg 1033 16. Fernando Alonso 963 17. Sergio Perez 836 18. Jolyon Palmer 772 19. Romain Grosjean 743 20. Pascal Wehrlein 729 21. Rio Haryanto 671 22. Esteban Gutierrez 628 23. Alfonso Celis Jr 385 Total winter testing mileage by team: 1. Mercedes 3743 2. Toro Rosso 3034 3. Williams 2476 4. Ferrari 2470 5. Sauber total 2424* 6. Red Bull 2363 7. Force India 2253 8. Renault 2245 9. McLaren 2054 10. Manor 1400 11. Haas 1371 12. Sauber 2016 1174* * Sauber only ran its 2016 car in week two Total winter testing mileage by engine: 1. Mercedes 9872 2. Ferrari 2016 5016 3. Renault/TAG 4608 4. Ferrari 2015 4284 5. Honda 2054
Barcelona F1 test: Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari top Thursday running
Ferrari stepped up its preparations for the new Formula 1 season as Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest lap seen in testing so far and completed a race simulation on Thursday.
After starting his day with a trial run of the FIA’s halo cockpit protection system the governing body hopes will be on all F1 cars in 2017, Raikkonen went on to set the pace on the third morning of the second test.
Using Pirelli’s ultra-soft tyre, Raikkonen set a time of 1m22.765s, 0.045 seconds quicker than team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s benchmark from day two of test one, which was also set on the new-for-2016 rubber.
Come the afternoon, the Finn put the SF16-H through its paces with a 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix run around Barcelona’s Catalunya track.
Raikkonen’s laptimes fared well against the simulations of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton on Monday and Nico Rosberg on Tuesday.
The run was put on hold for a short period as Romain Grosjean brought out the red flags for a second time with an excursion across the gravel, as he had done at the very end of the morning session.
The Frenchman made it a hat-trick late on to bring the day to an end six minutes earlier than scheduled.
Although Raikkonen finished comfortably quickest, Williams’s Felipe Massa was only 0.428s adrift with an early afternoon run on soft tyres.
Massa managed to get ahead of two other drivers on ultra-softs in Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso, the former just under half a second down, and the latter just over 0.6s adrift.
Verstappen finished with the highest lap count of the day on 159, more than the two Mercedes drivers combined after Rosberg had run in the morning and Hamilton in the afternoon, the duo clocking up 144 laps between them.
Rosberg opted for a different run programme for his stint, working from a baseline with his car in order to focus on different set-ups.
It resulted in Rosberg completing 81 laps, the highest tally in the morning, before Hamilton took over.
Rosberg finished up fifth quickest, 1.3s down, with Hamilton down in 11th, 3.7s off the pace. Both set their times on mediums.
In between the Mercedes, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr finished two seconds off the pace on soft tyres, with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso in close attendance on super-softs.
Alonso also conducted a heavy-fuel race simulation of his own, and even had a blast on the ultra-softs in a productive afternoon.
Pascal Wehrlein posted Manor’s best lap of testing to date, using ultra-softs, to finish 2.148s behind Raikkonen, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat ninth on softs, and a further two tenths of a second down.
Jolyon Palmer finally managed to get in some meaningful running in his Renault in the afternoon, after only completing 26 laps in the morning to add to the 79 over two days last week when he encountered a range of issues.
A late run on softs elevated Palmer over Hamilton to 10th, with the best of his 98 laps being a 1m26.224s.
Grosjean brought up the rear in his Haas, and despite his trio of red flags, still managed 78 laps after the American team finally overcame the turbo problems that had plagued it since Tuesday afternoon.
|3||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.251s||0.486s||137|
|4||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m23.382s||0.617s||159|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m25.141s||2.376s||121|
Kimi Raikkonen tests F1’s halo head protection system on Ferrari
Formula 1’s proposed halo driver head protection system has appeared on a car for the first time, Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari during pre-season testing.
Having developed the system in conjunction with Mercedes, the FIA confirmed last week it is working to "make this a reality" for the 2017 season.
Further testing has been undertaken on an airfield in the south of England, firing projectiles at the framework at high speed.
"We have tried to accelerate this project in the last 12 months with an aim to have something that we can practically apply on F1 cars for 2017," FIA safety director Laurent Mekies said in the governing body’s official Auto publication.
"This latest test was set up with that in mind – trying to come out from there with something that we could actually say, ‘that’s going to be a significant step forward’."
Following that work, Raikkonen turned his installation lap of Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday morning with the device fitted to his Ferrari SF16-H.
Ferrari told Autosport that the device will not be used again today.
The halo trialled was a temporary fix, rather than having a hinge that would allow for easier extraction, complicating how Raikkonen climbed aboard the car when it was attached.
Ferrari’s Raikkonen says visibility with F1 halo ‘was OK’
Kimi Raikkonen says the visibility of Formula 1’s proposed halo head protection system "was OK" according to Ferrari, after becoming the first driver to try it during pre-season testing.
Raikkonen turned his installation lap on Thursday morning with the device fitted to his Ferrari SF16-H.
The team was keen to get a driver’s opinion on how the device impacts on their vision.
"[The] first impression on the visibility test is positive," Raikkonen said, through the FIA.
"The structure does not hamper [visibility]."
Ferrari says the design is an early prototype that it produced itself, based on its own interpretation and is "pretty close" to what it expects the final shape to be.
As it was only a temporary fix, designed and produced mainly to gauge a driver’s opinion regarding visibility, it did not have a hinge that would allow for easier extraction.
As a result, it complicated how Raikkonen climbed inside the cockpit when it was attached.
The Scuderia has yet to decide whether Sebastian Vettel will run it on the car when the German completes the final day of testing for the team on Friday.
Over a period of time the FIA has conducted considerable research and tests into the product, with the halo emerging as the best of three reviewed designs.
The primary test focused on a wheel being projected at the halo device with significant force.
Assessing the results, Andy Mellor, the FIA’s lead researcher for the Global Institute for Road Safety on this project, said: "It’s very impressive that although the structure is positioned close to the driver’s helmet to provide protection from all angles, it is still able to prevent the wheel from contacting the helmet.
"In the very short distance available a huge amount of energy is absorbed and the wheel is successfully redirected."
The FIA prototype was made out of steel, while Ferrari’s is made of carbon fibre.
The FIA anticipates if the halo is accepted and adopted from 2017 it will be made of a lightweight material that will add around five kilograms to the weight of the car.
The key concern, however, is – and remains – visibility.
Speaking in the FIA’s monthly magazine Auto, Mellor added: "We need to avoid creating any blindspots as that would introduce an unacceptable additional risk during racing.
"We are looking to achieve a structure that provides a full panorama of forward and sideways binocular vision, allowing only very small areas of monocular vision restricted by the structure."
Kimi Raikkonen surprised by visibility in F1 cockpit halo trial
Kimi Raikkonen says there was "surprisingly little difference" in visibility after trying Ferrari’s version of the halo head protection system during pre-season Formula 1 testing.
The Finn completed a single lap with the device fitted to his Ferrari SF16-H first thing on Thursday morning at Barcelona.
Ferrari had created the prototype, which it says is "pretty close" to what it expects the final shape to be, to get a driver’s opinion on how it impacts visibility.
"It’s slightly different view," said Raikkonen. "We’re a bit limited in the front but I don’t think it’s the final version.
"There was surprisingly little difference.
"Yes, it was a bit limited in the front, but [the design] can change."
The design tested was produced by Ferrari itself and made of carbonfibre.
It was the team’s own interpretation of the idea but only a temporary design and did not have a hinge that will feature on the final version for easier extraction.
The hinge’s absence complicated how Raikkonen climbed into the cockpit when it was attached.
The FIA anticipates that if the design is accepted and adopted for 2017, it will be made of a lightweight material that will add around five kilograms to the weight of the car.
Ferrari is contemplating running the design again on Friday when Sebastian Vettel is in the car so it can gauge the German’s opinion too.
Barcelona F1 test: Rosberg tops Mercedes’ first day of 2016
Nico Rosberg put a Mercedes on top of the timesheets for the first time in 2016 Formula 1 pre-season testing while his team-mate Lewis Hamilton completed a full race simulation.
On the opening day of Barcelona’s second test, Mercedes ran the soft tyres for the first time this year with Rosberg clocking a 1m23.022s just before lunch, finishing 0.207 seconds clear of Valtteri Bottas in the Williams, whose time was set on the ultra-softs.
It was an impressive performance from Mercedes, which focused on low-fuel and qualifying speed in the morning before changing tack in the afternoon when Hamilton took over the car.
The reigning world champion completed a short stint on the softs before completing three stints on the mediums as part of a 66-lap run.
Fernando Alonso suffered what McLaren described as a "small telemetry" glitch before lunch, but the team got him back out midway through the afternoon.
The two-time world champion clocked the third quickest time, 1.713s off the pace, and put 93 laps on the board.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen had spent much of the day in second before he stopped out on track just after lunch.
He returned to the track late in the afternoon and he ended the day with 71 laps on the board, 100 fewer than Rosberg and Hamilton managed between them.
Red Bull suffered a long delay after a brake casing problem caused a small fire at the back of the RB12, with Daniil Kvyat rejoining in the afternoon to clock the fifth fastest time.
Hamilton was sixth, ahead of Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg, both of whom managed more than 100 laps apiece.
The 2016-spec Sauber proved to be reliable straight out of the box as Felipe Nasr clocked 103 laps for the ninth quickest time.
Renault’s Kevin Magnussen was 10th, but caused a red flag with a few minutes to go, when he stopped out on track having completed 119 laps.
Haas saw its running end early with a fuel system problem, with Esteban Gutierrez managing just 23 laps.
Manor’s Rio Haryanto had a troublesome day with the Indonesian missing most of the morning session as his team worked to fix a small oil leak.
He recovered to log 45 laps and the 12th fastest time, 4.603s off the pace.
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m25.049s||2.027s||69|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m25.176s||2.154s||144|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.336s||2.314s||121|
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen thwarted by gearbox issue in testing
A gearbox problem limited Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari’s mileage as 2016’s second pre-season Formula 1 test began at Barcelona on Tuesday.
Raikkonen’s car stopped when he became stuck in eighth gear on the pits straight just after the lunchbreak.
Although Ferrari got him back out later, he could only manage 72 laps – 100 down on Mercedes’ tally for the day.
"Obviously a few things could be better at this point but we are in testing and the purpose of testing is to try things and obviously something breaks," Raikkonen told reporters.
"We can fix it, there’s still time.
"Every year it’s the same story; you push, push and push and [if] we have an issue, we plan a fix. I’m not concerned."
Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has expressed hope that the team will be on the front row at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, while Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg insisted the Italian team was a "big threat".
Raikkonen said it was currently "pointless to start guessing" how Ferrari compared to Mercedes, which set the pace on Tuesday as it ran soft tyres for the first time this year.
"I have no idea what they’re doing and they don’t know what will happen," he said.
"You can see the laptime, there are different tyres and different times.
"We have a good feeling. We have made quite good progress over the winter again but is it going to be enough? Who knows?
"I think we will be more or less where we want to be."
Kimi Raikkonen tops final day of first 2016 Barcelona F1 test
Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets for Ferrari on the final day of the first Formula 1 pre-season test at Barcelona, while Mercedes clocked up an impressive 185 laps.
Raikkonen bolted on a set of the ultra-soft tyres and set a 1m23.477s just before lunch to lead the way.
It was the third day out of four that a Ferrari topped the times, with the Finn finishing 0.816s clear of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat who set his time on the same compound.
Mercedes, running its new nose, split running between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who logged 99 and 86 laps respectively.
Both drivers did all of their running on the medium tyre with Rosberg seventh, just over one tenth ahead of Hamilton in eighth.
It was not such a successful day for McLaren-Honda, which suffered a coolant leak early in the morning.
The team was unable to get car back out, leaving Fernando Alonso to end the day with only three laps under his belt and not having set a time.
A late run on the super-softs catapulted Force India development driver Alfonso Celis to third, 1.363s off the pace, on his second day in the car this week.
Kevin Magnussen made up for a lack of running for his team-mate Jolyon Palmer earlier in the week with the day’s highest individual tally of 153 laps and the third quickest time.
The Dane brought out the red flag when he stopped out on track in the final quarter of an hour.
Max Verstappen ended another solid day for Toro Rosso fifth, adding 106 laps to the 161 his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr managed on Wednesday.
Sauber was busy, too, with Felipe Nasr doing over 100 laps in the 2015-spec car and achieving the sixth fastest time with a soft-tyre run.
Haas completed a race simulation with Esteban Gutierrez as it continued its maiden F1 test. The Mexican finished 10th quickest.
Rookie Rio Haryanto was responsible for a red flag when he crashed at Turn 5 during the afternoon and did not return to the track.
The Indonesian, who logged 51 laps, propped up the timesheets with a 1m28.266s on the softs.
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m24.293s||0.816s||96|
|3||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1m24.840s||1.363s||75|
|5||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m25.393s||1.916s||110|
Ferrari had hoped for higher mileage in first F1 test – Raikkonen
Ferrari did not complete as many laps as it had hoped during the first pre-season Formula 1 test at Barcelona, where Mercedes almost doubled the Italian team’s mileage.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen topped three of the four days between them, ending the week first and third respectively on the combined times.
However, Ferrari’s 353 laps of the Barcelona circuit fell well short of the 675 achieved by Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
"We would have liked more laps but that’s part of testing," said Raikkonen, who was fastest on day four following a run on the new ultra-soft tyres.
"With a new car, there are certain things you need to try and test.
"You have to accept you have to check things and it takes time. It’s better to do that.
"If there are some issues or some things to change, it’s up to us to push so we are in the right position when we start racing."
Raikkonen lost the majority of his first morning of running in the new SF16-H while Ferrari carried out fuel system checks, and while Mercedes has already tried several key new parts on its W07, Ferrari’s test programme is still in its "early days".
"We haven’t really done an awful lot of set-up work but the baseline is normal," said Raikkonen.
"It’s where we want it to be, and I’m sure we can improve it some more.
"There are a lot of things to try at test two but the car is definitely a step up from what we had last year."
NUMBER OF LAPS COMPLETED IN TEST
Toro Rosso 447
Red Bull 369
Force India 333
Barcelona F1 testing: Force India’s Hulkenberg on top, Haas second
Nico Hulkenberg and Force India ended Ferrari’s domination of pre-season Formula 1 testing on a troubled first day of 2016 running for Kimi Raikkonen, as Romain Grosjean put Haas second.
Hulkenberg comfortably topped the Barcelona timesheet with a morning lap of 1m23.110s set on the super-soft compound.
That was exactly three tenths of a second shy of the week’s best lap, set by Sebastian Vettel on Pirelli’s new ultra-soft on Tuesday.
While Vettel covered 195 laps as he topped the first two days, Raikkonen managed just four installation laps on Wednesday morning, without a time to his name, while Ferrari completed a number of fuel-system checks.
The Finn at least fared better in the afternoon as he clocked up another 73 laps, with his best on the medium compound moving him up to second behind Hulkenberg, albeit 2.867s adrift.
He was then demoted to third when Grosjean put in a lap one tenth quicker during a late run on a set of softs for newcomer Haas.
After two difficult days for Jolyon Palmer and Renault, with software issues on Monday and a turbo failure on Tuesday limiting him to just 79 laps, team-mate Kevin Magnussen posted 103 on his way to fourth quickest on his return to F1.
While positive for Renault, there are still issues to contend with. Magnussen stopped on track due to an unspecified problem with an hour of the day remaining.
An attempt to send the Dane back out with 15 minutes to run resulted in him stopping near the end of the pitlane.
Magnussen’s initial issue brought out the third red flag of the day, the first having come in the opening hour when Carlos Sainz Jr was forced to stop his Toro Rosso due to his right-rear wheel not being attached.
Sainz went on to complete the second highest number of laps in a day this week with 161, finishing just over three seconds down on Hulkenberg in sixth.
Nico Rosberg sandwiched Magnussen and Sainz as he split the day’s driving duties for Mercedes with reigning champion Lewis Hamilton.
After posting 172 laps on Tuesday, Rosberg added a further 74 on Wednesday morning, with Hamilton following up with 87 in the afternoon for eighth quickest.
Mercedes is still yet to use anything other than the medium tyre.
Felipe Nasr was seventh in the 2015 Sauber, 3.282s behind Hulkenberg and a fraction of a second ahead of Hamilton.
In his first 2016 outing for Red Bull, Daniil Kvyat was ninth, 0.076s behind Hamilton, and 0.215s ahead of Felipe Massa as the Brazilian took over Williams driving duties from Valtteri Bottas and ran for 109 laps.
Jenson Button only managed 51 in his McLaren. A minor fire caused by a hydraulic leak ended his day early and left the veteran nearly four seconds down.
On his debut as fully-fledged F1 driver, Rio Haryanto brought up the rear, 5.139s off the pace.
The Indonesian also spun in the morning to bring out the second red flag.
WEDNESDAY TEST RESULTS:
|1||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.110s||–||99|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m26.239s||3.129s||161|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m26.497s||3.387s||74|
Kimi Raikkonen happier with Ferrari’s 2016 Formula 1 car
Kimi Raikkonen says he is happier with the front end of Ferrari’s new Formula 1 car than he was last year, following his first day in the SF16-H.
Raikkonen took over the car on Wednesday following Sebastian Vettel’s two pacesetting days to start F1 pre-season testing, but essentially missed the morning session as Ferrari undertook fuel system checks.
He finished the day third on the timesheets, with his 1m25.977s lap set on Pirelli’s medium compound tyre.
"I think the first feeling is quite nice," Raikkonen said.
"The handling is good. In many areas we need to improve on last year and the front end is one area.
"The team has done a very good job, getting it ready, I am happy with that."
After turning just four installation laps before lunch, Raikkonen said his afternoon focus was building mileage across short runs, rather than experimenting with the new car’s set-up.
"I’m sure the car is already better than what we had last year," he added.
"We improved in many areas and it’s very early days, especially for me, with the car.
"There’s no problem, and we haven’t changed a single thing on the front.
"I’m happy so far, but there is still a lot of things to put in there.
"Just jumping in the car, not doing anything to it and driving, it’s not too bad, it’s pretty OK, so I’m sure we can find some things."
Kimi Raikkonen sceptical over new wets after Pirelli F1 tyre test
Kimi Raikkonen was left unconvinced by Pirelli’s alternative wet-weather tyres as Formula 1 returned to action in 2016.
Pirelli is conducting a two-day tyre test at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France as it seeks to improve its full-wet compound, notably with regard to its aquaplaning performance.
Although Pirelli tried out different variations of the tyre, and with the test blind for participating teams Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, Raikkonen felt there was little sign of an improvement over 2015.
Running last year’s SF15-T, without modification as per the rules for the test, and completing 99 laps overall, Raikkonen said: "We can learn from this.
"We are not usually so happy in the wet conditions, so it helps to understand more.
"Here it’s as good a wet-tyre test as you can get because it was similar conditions all the time. If we can help Pirelli then it’s useful for us, so it was OK.
"I think we preferred last year’s tyres, but it’s too early to say."
Raikkonen was joined on track by Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull and McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne, who completed 99 and 87 laps respectively.
With the circuit’s sprinkler system in operation and deployed regularly during the day to ensure continuity in conditions, Vandoorne feels the test was useful.
"After the first three set-up runs, once the tyre testing started then every time we had a consistent track, which is the main focus, especially when you do tyre testing," said Vandoorne.
"In the beginning some parts of the track were not wet enough, but then they did a good job to wet it.
"Obviously some parts of the track were also too wet, so it was difficult, a bit too much aquaplaning sometimes, but after a few laps everything was fine again."
As to the feel of the tyres, Vandoorne added: "We adjusted the different specs, which felt very similar, although we didn’t know what they were as it is a blind test.
"It was about giving information as to how the tyres react, and Pirelli did a decent job.
"In testing different specs some were better than others, which is usual in tyre testing."
Raikkonen: "Per noi meglio le gomme dello scorso anno"
25 gennaio 2016 – Al termine dei dieci run odierni, Kimi Raikkonen ha raccontato la sua giornata ai microfoni della stampa: un test tranquillo e utile, durante il quale i cronometri hanno però girato e assegnato alla Ferrari del finlandese il terzo posto su tre auto in pista.
L’unico a parlare con la stampa dei tre piloti presenti qui al Paul Ricard, in un paddock che ha poco da invidiare a quelli di circuiti già presenti nel calendario iridato, è stato Kimi Raikkonen. Il meno loquace per antonomasia si è invece presentato puntuale all’appuntamento, concedendo qualche parola prima di andarsi a rintanare nel suo motorhome.
Alle scuderie sono stati affidati oggi alcuni set di gomme non marcate. Sebbene le caratteristiche di ognuno di questi composti fossero segrete, un’idea Kimi se l’è subito fatta, quella inerente quali gomme siano state le più performanti sulla sua monoposto.
“Penso sia troppo presto per parlare” – ha esordito il finnico – “Avevamo a disposizione le stesse gomme dello scorso anno e alcune nuove gomme, ma credo di poter dire che per noi siano meglio quelle del 2015“.
Sia con le gomme dello scorso anno che con quelle non marcate però, la Ferrari di Kimi è stata oggi costantemente la terza auto in pista, dietro alla Red Bull di Daniel Ricciardo mediamente di un secondo, e dietro anche alla McLaren di Stoffel Vandoorne di mezzo. In pratica i valori dei best time finali sono anche quelli espressi giro dopo giro con qualunque mescola.
Va però anche detto che nei monitor concessi alla stampa, che prediligevano nelle inquadrature la rossa di Maranello (per non dire che era l’unica monoposto inquadrata, in quanto sempre la prima a uscire), non si è mai vista la monoposto rossa salire su un cordolo…
“È stato bello oggi, era un po’ che non guidavo” – ha continuato il finlandese – “Abbiamo imparato qualcosa in condizioni da bagnato, questi test aiutano la Pirelli ma anche noi ad apprendere qualcosa in più“. Inoltre – ha aggiunto il finlandese – “Sono stati utili perché abbiamo potuto girare in condizioni simili per tutto il tempo“.
L’ultima risposta di Kimi è sollecitata dall’inviato della Rai, Ettore Giovannelli, che gli ha ricordato come il presidente Sergio Marchionne voglia una Ferrari vincente già a Melbourne.”Tutta la squadra lo vuole” – ha risposto Kimi – “Ma solo fra un mese dopo il primo test con la nuova monoposto sapremo se il nostro obiettivo è realistico o meno“.
Raikkonen: “Il test Pirelli sul bagnato utile anche per capire dove migliorarci”
Sono stati 285 i giri complessivi coperti dalla Ferrari di Raikkonen, dalla Red Bull di Ricciardo e dalla McLaren di Vandoorne nella prima delle due giornate fissate dalla Pirelli sul circuito del Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, per sviluppare e individuare le gomme da pioggia del prossimo futuro.
La prova, alla cieca e strutturata in dieci run, ha visto i piloti montare inizialmente le vecchie full wet per poi passare ai prototipi di cui non sono state diffuse le caratteristiche.
“E’ già capitato di affrontare test del genere in precedenza, quindi non è una novità – il riscontro di Kimi al termine del pomeriggio – A livello di risposta degli pneumatici invece reputo ancora prematuro dare un giudizio positivo”.
“Ad ogni modo è stata una sessione utile sia per aiutare il fornitore, sia per noi visto che in condizioni simili non siamo esattamente fortissimi. In questo modo abbiamo potuto godere di un circuito inzuppato in maniera omogenea e dunque siamo riusciti a capire meglio dove intervenire per risolvere i problemi” – ha proseguito.
Rispondendo in seguito alla domanda sul Presidente Marchionne e la sua volontà di veder vincere la Rossa sin da Melbourne Iceman ha dichiarato: “Lo vorremmo tutti, tuttavia non avendo neppure completato una tornata con l’auto 2016 non possiamo avere certezze”.
Infine sugli ultimi due mesi il campione del mondo 2007 ha chiosato: “Mi sono solo riposato e dedicato alla famiglia”.