Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest time of the winter testing in Barcelona after he lapped Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya in 1:19.024, three tenths faster than the previous best time from Valtteri Bottas in Mercedes.
In the morning part of the test, Vettel first drove absolutely fastest time on the soft tyres (1:19.341) and then improved it slightly on the supersoft (1:19.314) and finally on the ultrasoft (1:19.024). Second fastest was Hamilton in a Mercedes with three tenths slower lap on the ultrasoft tyres.
Quadruple world champion clocked the best time despite sandbagging the third sector, which was half a second slower than his best time which proves that Ferrari in Barcelona can go even faster.
Vettel also drove the most laps of all drivers (156) and thereby helped Ferrari to catch up from yesterday when Raikkonen drove only 53 laps.
Vettel’s time was almost three seconds faster than last year’s pole position (1:22.000) and almost a second faster than the fastest ever pole position on the current configuration of the track which runs from 2007 (Webber, Red Bull RB6, 1:19.995). Track record holds Felipe Massa in the Ferrari F2008 on slick tyre test in 2008. (1:18.339).
Williams drove the most laps (165) in front of Ferrari (156), Mercedes (146), Force India (137), Sauber (132), Red Bull (128), Haas (119) and Toro Rosso (98). McLaren Honda had fewest (48), but Renault (53) wasn’t in much better shape.
Lewis Hamilton drove his fastest time in 2017. testing (1: 19.352) on the softest ultrasoft tyres and Force India was very quick despite claims that the car has weaknesses they must correct – Ocon was third quickest with 1.137 seconds behind Vettel with a second highest number of laps of all drivers (137).
Toro Rosso was in fine form on day three in fourth place with 1.4 seconds behind Vettel and very good 94 laps after Kvyat caused the first break in the afternoon session. Magnussen is in Haas was a tenth slower with the third highest number of laps (119).
Red Bull has smashed their own lap number record with 128 laps and Ricciardo was sixth quickest on the soft tyres.
Stoffel Vandoorne showed better speed for McLaren Honda, but the day was marked by failures related to electronics. Vandoorne had both a failures in the morning, and in the afternoon he came out only two hours before the emd. Unfortunately for them, he drove only 16 laps (total 48) while McLaren’s average time on this year’s tests dropped to 54.43 rounds per day.
Bottas was driving a longer runs in the afternoon and finished eighth fastest on the soft tyres while Wehrlein the Sauber C36 was three tenths slower on the softest ultrasoft tyres.
Tomorrow is the last day of pre-season testing and the fourth day of the second test. New Formula 1 season begins on March 24 with the first free practice session in Melbourne at 02:00 Central European Time (CET).
DAY 3 RESULTS