Kimi Raikkonen clocked the fastest time in Formula 1 pre-season testing to date as Ferrari enjoyed a strong day at Barcelona.
The Finn, who tested the FIA’s new halo head protection system earlier in the day, posted a 1:22.765s effort on the ultra-soft tyre, which pipped his team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s best from last week’s test.
Raikkonen went on to complete a race simulation ending the session with 136 laps in the books.
“It was one of our best days of testing,” said Raikkonen.
“Maybe we could have been faster on some laps, but in general the feeling was fine and we are more or less happy with the way things are going.
“Of course there’s always room to improve and work to do.
“This morning I tried the Halo protection device and the difference to the usual driving was surprisingly small.
“The visibility is just a little bit limited at the front but I don’t think this is the final version of the device, so it can be improved further.”
Williams’ Felipe Massa emerged as Ferrari’s nearest rival with the Brazilian 0.4s adrift on the soft compound tyres.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was third fastest just a faction slower than the Williams, while Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was fourth. The pair set their best times on the ultra-soft tyres.
Mercedes continued its split driver duties with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton completing 144 laps between them on the medium tyres.
Sauber’s new C35 continued to make progress as Felipe Nasr chalked up 116 laps, while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was seventh after a heavy fuel race simulation.
Pascal Wehrlein was eighth on the ultra-soft tyres for Manor, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer rounding out the top 10.
Haas F1 appeared to overcome its turbo issue although Romain Grosjean brought out the red flags on three occasions.
Result: Formula 1 Pre-Season Test Day 3, Barcelona
|3||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1:23.251s||+0.486s||137|
|4||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1:23.382s||+0.617s||159|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1:25.141s||+2.376s||121|