Hamilton fastest on penultimate day of testing

After seeing Nico Rosberg set the fastest time on day two at the Circuit de Catalunya, Lewis Hamilton continued where his team-mate left off on day three, posting the best time in his Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS machine.

Hamilton spent the first half of the afternoon session in the pit lane whilst his team applied what they described as an ‘experimental’ set-up, but the Briton took to the track, initially on the Medium Pirelli tyre before running some laps on the Soft tyre, setting a best time of 1m23.022s.

The reigning World Drivers’ Champion will now have to sit and watch Rosberg take hold of the car for the final day of the test, and will now be preparing for the first race of the season in Australia in two weeks time.

Hamilton’s time was the even more impressive, as second and third placed Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen set their fastest times on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre.

Williams Martini Racing driver Massa completed his final day of testing by completing 102 laps, finishing 0.240s behind Hamilton’s time, while Scuderia Ferrari driver Raikkonen was 0.014s further back. Raikkonen also managed to complete his first race simulation during the day, and will hand over to Sebastian Vettel for the final day.

Carlos Sainz Jr was fourth fastest for Scuderia Toro Rosso, but caused one of the days two red flags during the final hour when he stopped out on track with what the team described as a ‘minor electrical problem’.

Romain Grosjean posted a late quick lap to place fifth for the Lotus F1 Team, ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who also caused a late red flag when the Sauber F1 Team driver was told to pull over as a precaution.

Nico Hulkenberg was the busiest driver on day three as he continued to put laps on Sahara Force India’s VJM08. The German ran 158 laps, meaning in just over a day and a half he has completed 235 laps.

Kevin Magnussen took the track for the first time in the McLaren-Honda as Fernando Alonso’s replacement while the Spaniard recovers from last weeks testing crash, but the Dane was restricted to just 39 laps when his car developed an oil leak. He set the eighth fastest time, 2.203s slower than Hamilton, but ahead of Daniel Ricciardo of Infiniti Red Bull Racing, who concentrated on long runs on Medium tyres.

Felipe Massa was forced to settle for P2 behind Hamilton (Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)
Felipe Massa was forced to settle for P2 behind Hamilton (Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)

Circuit de Catalunya Pre-Season Test 3 Day 3 Times

1 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 1m23.022s 76
2 19 Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m23.262s 102
3 7 Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari 1m23.276s 136
4 55 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.191s 132
5 8 Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes 1m24.200s 116
6 9 Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.477s 123
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m24.939s 158
8 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN McLaren-Honda 1m25.225s 39
9 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault 1m25.742s 128