Rapid Raikkonen ends final test day on top for Ferrari


Kimi Raikkonen was quickest on Friday in Spain, setting the quickest time seen in testing - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Kimi Raikkonen left a definite marker on the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday, with the Finn setting comfortably the best time seen throughout any of the eight test days.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver became the first and only driver to dip beneath the 1 minute 19 second barrier, with his best time of 1:18.634 more than eight-tenths of a second faster than anyone else could manage on Friday.

Raikkonen’s time, set on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre, came during the morning session, and despite causing a red flag when he stopped on track in the afternoon session, no one could get close to his time. The Finn was cruising back to the pits with an issue only to spin when his rear tyres locked at the penultimate corner of the track.

Max Verstappen was second fastest for Red Bull Racing, but his time of 1:19.438 was 0.804 second down, but the Dutchman was the only driver within one-second of the pace of Raikkonen.

Max Verstappen ended the final day of testing with the second fastest time – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Carlos Sainz Jr completed Scuderia Toro Rosso’s most productive day of testing with 132 laps, with the Spaniard setting the third best time with a 1:19.837, just 0.008 seconds ahead of the leading Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas. It was not all plain sailing for the Faenza-based team though as Sainz was forced to stop on the start/finish straight in the final hour.

Mercedes once again split their day between their two drivers, as they have done throughout all eight days, with Bottas taking the morning session this time around and Lewis Hamilton the afternoon. Bottas completed 53 laps in finishing fourth fastest, while Hamilton completed 54 laps and was just 0.005 seconds further back in fifth.

The Renault Sport Formula 1 Team also split their day between their drivers, with Nico Hülkenberg running the morning session before handing over to Jolyon Palmer in the afternoon. Hülkenberg completed 45 laps and set the sixth fastest time, while Palmer was eighth fastest, completing 43 laps.

In between the two Renault’s was the Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM10 of Sergio Perez, who completed 128 laps and set a best time of 1:20.116s.

Sergio Perez was seventh fastest on the final day in Spain – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Lance Stroll concluded his second test as a Formula 1 driver with the ninth fastest time for his Williams Martini Racing team, completing 132 laps, but the Canadian will be happy that his second week in the car was less problematic than the first.

Romain Grosjean was tenth fastest for the Haas F1 Team but was responsible for two of the six red flags seen on the final day, with a spin at turn five being followed by a stoppage on the back straight with fifteen minutes of the morning session remaining. It was a more productive afternoon for the Frenchman, who set a best time of 1:21.110.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team once again gave grief to Fernando Alonso, who was also responsible for two stoppages in the morning, both with electrical issues on the MCL32. Overall, the Spaniard could only complete 43 laps on the final day, meaning the team never managed a complete race distance in any of the eight test days in Spain. Coupled with the fact he finished 2.755 seconds down on the pace of Raikkonen, it can be said that there is a lot of pain going through the corridors of Woking right now.

Bringing up the rear on Friday were the two Sauber F1 Team drivers, with Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein sharing time in the car, and for the first time this week, the Swede was the quicker of the two.

McLaren caused two further stoppages on the final day of testing on Friday – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
DriverCountryTeamTimeLapsTyre
Kimi RaikkonenFINScuderia Ferrari1:18.634111SS
Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:19.43871SS
Carlos Sainz JrESPScuderia Toro Rosso1:19.837132US
Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:19.84553SS
Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:19.85054US
Nico HulkenbergGERRenault Sport Formula 1 Team1:19.88545US
Sergio PerezMEXSahara Force India F1 Team1:20.116128US
Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault Sport Formula 1 Team1:20.20543US
Lance StrollCANWilliams Martini Racing1:20.335132S
Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas F1 Team1:21.11076US
Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren Honda Formula 1 Team1:21.38943US
Marcus EricssonSWESauber F1 Team1:21.67059SS
Pascal WehrleinGERSauber F1 Team1:23.52742S