Romain Grosjean remained at the top of the time sheets today with improving pace in the afternoon to finish the day seventh tenths faster than Force India’s Paul di Resta.
Despite Grosjean’s improvement in time to a 1:18.218, very little changed from the morning to afternoon sessions, with teams focusing on longer runs. Grosjean, who will hand the car over to Kimi Raikkonen for the remaining two days, nevertheless completed a total of 95 laps.
However, it was Mark Webber who would complete the most laps today, becoming the first driver to complete over one hundred laps. He finished the day fourth fastest, just behind fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo underlined the pace that Toro Rosso appears to have at this test and hung on to claim the third fastest time.
One car to complete zero laps this afternoon however, was Lewis Hamilton. Following his accident that was caused by a loss in brake pressure earlier in the morning, the team were unable to complete the repairs needed to send the Brit back out on track. That means that Mercedes have lost the best part of two days of testing to their main rivals, with Nico Rosberg and Hamilton having only completed 33 laps between them since the test began.
Despite his lack of mileage in his new car, Hamilton still hung on to end the day sixth fastest, ahead of Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa. The latter was believed to be trialing a new exhaust system on the Ferrari this afternoon, with the Brazilian claiming that this year’s car is a vast improvement on the F12012.
Nico Hulkenberg finished just ahead of Hamilton in the times to end the day fifth fastest, but played his part in the session being red flagged a few minutes early, with both himself and Romain Grosjean stopping on circuit right at the end of proceedings. This is likely to have been a deliberate move by the two teams to drain the cars of fuel for precautionary checks.
Lastly, on the day that he was confirmed as Marussia’s second driver, Luiz Razia ended the session slowest of all, completing a modest programme of just 31 laps. Only Hamilton and James Rossiter, who tested for Force India in place of di Resta this afternoon, completed fewer.