Raikkonen ends Jerez test on top

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F1 Test, Jerez, Circuit Permanente de Jerezes

The final day of pre-season testing at Jerez started extremely cool at around 6°C but clouds that wetted the track overnight started disappearing by the time running commenced.

Hamilton was the first to come out, but by the time he ended up at the end of the pitlane, Kimi Raikkonen had already passed him. Sauber's Markus Ericsson and Felipe Massa were also out early, with only Ericsson doing a timed lap immediately. Lotus' Pastor Maldonado also left a few minutes later, crawling through the pitlane before getting up to speed at turn 1.

Toro Rosso started the day with some practice starts with Max Verstappen. None if which btw seemed to be very smooth.

For McLaren it took 30 minutes longer to get the car out, and upon return to the pits, the team immediately uncovered the rear end of the car. Button was set for another wait, not knowing when he'd be able to go out on track again.

46 minutes into the day, the first day flag was caused by Daniil Kvyat, stopping just ahead of turn 9. The team started a lenthy investigation into the problem while running for most other teams was fairly straightforward as they enjoyed the track getting warmed up by the Spanish sun.

At 11:12 it was Hamilton time to come to a halt, in between turns 11 and 12. The Brit had just completed 41 laps, more than anybody else thus far but more than a second slower than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull Racing was fairly quiet in the afternoon while Lotus was quick to announced an early end to its test due to a power unit problem. McLaren Honda meanwhile continued to struggle through the afternoon, with Button eventually completing a total of 35 laps, the last of which at around 4 o'clock. Having left the pits, he soon found out there was a problem. He completed the lap but came to a halt halfway along the pitlane with an apparent fuel feed problem.

20 minutes from the end, the session was red flagged due to the DRS marker at the beginning of the pit straight having blown onto the track. It was apparently loose and rolled onto the track just after Kimi Raikkonen had passed. It took nearly two minutes before anyone took action.

8 minutes later, and just 2 minutes with a green flag, another red flag got waved as Markus Ericsson had come to a halt between turns 9 and 10. The session was green flagged for another minute with Kvyat and Hamilton taking the opportunity to close off their Jerez testing in style.

That effectively ended the day and the entire Jerez test for everyone. The clear winners here seem to be Mercedes and Ferrari, the latter surely boosted by their solid and quick runs which the competition admitted was "eye-opening".

McLaren on the other hand will leave Jerez with a bitter aftertaste, having done less than 50% of what they initially targeted.


1.Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:20.841-106
2.Marcus EricssonSauber1:22.019+1.178112
3.Lewis HamiltonMercedes Amg1:22.172+1.331117
4.Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:22.553+1.71297
5.Felipe MassaWilliams1:23.116+2.27573
6.Romain GrosjeanLotus1:23.802+2.96153
7.Daniil KvyatRed Bull Racing1:23.975+3.13464
8.Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:27.660+6.81935