Formula 1

Räikkönen and Ferrari Conclude Final Day of Pre-Season Testing Fastest

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Kimi Raikkonen was fastest on the final day of pre-season testing
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Kimi Räikkönen’s morning time of 1:17.221s was enough to see him end the final day of pre-season testing at the top of the timesheets, while a late fast lap from Fernando Alonso saw the Spaniard end second fastest despite more mechanical issues for the McLaren F1 Team.

Räikkönen ensured Scuderia Ferrari ended on top for a third time in four days around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and his lap was just 0.039 seconds slower than team-mate Sebastian Vettel achieved on Thursday, with the Finn completing one hundred and fifty-three laps in total.

Alonso lost more than five hours of track time after a turbo issue on his MCL33 but completed ninety-three laps overall, with his best time of 1:17.784s just over half a second down on Räikkönen, and the Spaniard was only the third driver to ever set a lap beneath seventy-eight seconds around the current configuration of the Catalunya circuit.

The Renault Sport Formula One Team was another to play catch up, and although they had plans to run both Carlos Sainz Jr. and Nico Hülkenberg during the day, only the Spaniard managed to get some track time after a gearbox issue delayed their day until the last few hours. Sainz completed only forty-five laps on day four, but his best lap of 1:18.092s was good enough to see him end third fastest.

Daniel Ricciardo completed ninety-two laps and ended fourth fastest for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, while the busiest driver on the day was Romain Grosjean, who completed one hundred and eighty-one laps for the Haas F1 Team, with the Frenchman putting his VF-18 into fifth place.

Valtteri Bottas only drove in the afternoon session for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team, but the Finn completed one hundred and four laps and ending sixth fastest, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton was eleventh fastest in completing ninety-seven laps in the morning, meaning the team completed two hundred and one laps on the day.

Brendon Hartley brought to a close an impressive test programme for the Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda outfit, completing one hundred and fifty-eight laps and ending seventh fastest, with the New Zealander ending 0.018 seconds faster than Esteban Ocon, who completed one hundred and sixty-three laps on board his Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM11.

Charles Leclerc ended ninth fastest for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team despite compromising his day early on by spinning into the turn twelve gravel trap and nudging the barrier. He returned to the track in the afternoon session and ultimately completed seventy-five laps, with a best lap of 1:19.118s.

The Williams Martini Racing team split their day between their drivers, with Sergey Sirotkin completing the majority of the running. The Russian ended tenth fastest and completed one hundred and five laps before handing over the FW41 to Lance Stroll for the last couple of hours, with the Canadian completing twenty-seven laps.

The next track action will see all twenty drivers participate in the first free practice session of the season in Australia at the end of the month.

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