Formula 1

Jerez pre-season test day 4 – Raikkonen returns Ferrari to the top

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Kimi Raikkonen was fastest on the final day of the opening Formula 1 pre-season test at Jerez, meaning that his Scuderia Ferrari team topped three of the four days of the test, while Ferrari-power finished first and second every day.

The Finn completed 106 laps in his SF15-T and set a best time of 1m20.841s, the best time set in all four days, and beat the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson into second place by 1.178s. The Swede once again showed the potential of the new Sauber-Ferrari C34, and the team even had the chance to test the fuel system of the car late in the day that saw Ericsson stop on track between turns nine and ten out of fuel.

Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS were once again the busiest team on day four, with Lewis Hamilton the first driver to complete over 100 laps again, and ultimately completed 116 laps despite suffering a spin. The reigning World Champion was third quickest, less than two tenths of a second shy of Ericsson in second.

Max Verstappen completed his first test as a Scuderia Toro Rosso race driver with the fourth best time on day three, with the seventeen-year-old Dutchman less than half a second down on Hamilton ahead of him.

The Williams Martini Racing FW37 of Felipe Massa posted the fifth fastest time, running 73 laps of the Jerez circuit, ending 2.275s back on Raikkonen’s quickest time. Romain Grosjean had his first time on track this week in his Lotus E23 Hybrid, and completed 53 laps before a power unit failure ended their test prematurely.

An early ERS issue for Daniil Kvyat saw him stop on track and ultimately restricted the young Russian’s running for Infiniti Red Bull Racing to just 63 laps on his second day in the car. At least he managed to set a lap time on Wednesday after breaking the only front wing Red Bull had at the test on Monday.

McLaren-Honda once again ended the day at the bottom of the time sheets, with Jenson Button’s best lap almost seven seconds slower than Raikkonen. He completed 35 laps on day four, being delayed in the morning by an ‘operational issue relating to the oil level’ and then having his day ended by a fuel pump issue.

Ericsson (top left) impressed again in P2, Hamilton (top right) was P3, Verstappen (bottom left) P4  for STR & Massa (bottom right) P5 for Williams (all photos Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)

Ericsson (top left) impressed again in P2, World Champion Hamilton (top right) was P3, rookie Verstappen (bottom left) P4 for STR & Massa (bottom right) P5 for Williams (all photos Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd)

Jerez Pre-Season Test Day 4 Times

1 7 Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari 1m20.841s 106
2 9 Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.019s 112
3 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 1m22.172s 116
4 33 Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1m22.553s 97
5 19 Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m23.116s 73
6 8 Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes 1m23.802s 53
7 26 Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault 1m23.975s 63
8 22 Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m27.660s 35
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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