Hamilton ends third test day on top at Barcelona

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F1 Test, Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunyaes

The third and penultimate day of testing at Barcelona has started under sunny skies, with Felipe Massa taking the honours to be the first man out on track today.

He was soon followed by four other drivers. It was however Lewis Hamilton who set the first timed lap of the day. Massa soon topped that time following another improvement by Lewis Hamilton.

While all others started work early on, McLaren's Kevin Magnussen only got out on track 45 minutes later. The Dane gets his first taste of the McLaren here as he step in for Fernando Alonso who sits out the current test following his crash of last Sunday.

It generally became a busy first few hours with many drivers already completing round about 30 laps during the first 2 hours of the test. Hamilton proved fastest in this early stage, setting a 1:25.471 on medium tyres. Ricciardo was second fastest at this stage, nearly half a second slower and similarly on the medium tyres. Raikkonen was a second off after doing 22 laps with Massa 4th in an almost identical best to Raikkonen.

Kevin Magnussen completed 11 laps in the first two hours whereas Sainz did 19, even though he didn't set a lap time due to returning to the pits after every lap.

At noon, Felipe Massa is the new name at the top of the timesheets after the Williams puts down a lap of 1:24.950, half a second clear of Hamilton's time.

Kimi Raikkonen jumps up to second with his latest lap of 1:24.136. The Finn has set the fastest final sector of all today, so far.

As Massa goes even faster on the supersofts with a 1:23.262, Raikkonen also improves his time on the same tyre compound (1:23.276). Kevin Magnussen jumps up to third in the McLaren with a 1:25.225 on the soft tyres. Things are heating up just before the lunch break at Barcelona.

The supersoft tyres seem to be the way to go today as Nico Hulkenberg moves up to third with a 1:24.939. In the meantime, it appears that all the current engine manufacturers are having a meeting in the Mercedes motorhome.

As the lunch break is over, it is especially Massa and Raikkonen who are active on the track. The Finn is on a race simulation and at 14h46 already has 76 laps on his tally, the same as Nico Hulkenberg in the VJM08.

At 15h00, Lewis Hamilton has still not re-emerged from the Mercedes garage and this since 12h as the team is making some experimental setup changes. The Briton, who eyed to drive 150 laps today, has only completed 36 laps so far. It appears that McLaren has another problem with the MP4-30 as well as there has been just one lap for the team since lunch.

As Force India, who only debuted its car yesterday, has passed the century mark this afternoon, the Mercedes finally comes back out on track with little over two hours of testing left on the clock.

At 16h30, the McLaren team stated on Twitter: "An oil leak has stopped play, so that's a wrap for today." It remains a difficult testing period for the team.

Lewis Hamilton in the meantime set the third fastest lap time with a 1:24.181 on the soft tyres. All the drivers seem to have an incredible appetite to run as many laps as possible on their final day of testing as only Daniel Ricciardo is scheduled to drive during tomorrow's final day of winter testing. With little over an hour to go, only Hamilton and Magnussen have not yet reached the 100-lap mark.

Hamilton jumps to the top of the timesheet on the soft tyres with a 1:23.022.

With half an hour to go, the red flag comes out as the Sauber has come to a stop at Turn Three. Only 15 minutes later, the red flag is out again, this time for Sainz who also comes to a halt in Turn Three. The car is still being retrieved, with just five minutes now left on the clock.

Lewis Hamilton remains on top with a time of (1:23.022). He is followed by Felipe Massa (1:23.262) and Kimi Raikkonen (1:23.276). Tomorrow the teams will continue with the final day of testing of the 2015 winter test season.


1.L. HamiltonMercedes Grand Prix01:23.02276
2.F. MassaWilliams01:23.262102
3.K. RaikkonenFerrari01:23.276136
4.C. Sainz Jr.Scuderia Toro Rosso01:24.191132
5.R. GrosjeanLotus F1 Team01:24.200116
6.M. EricssonSauber01:24.477123
7.N. HulkenbergForce India F101:24.939158
8.K. MagnussenMcLaren01:25.22539
9.D. RicciardoRed Bull01:25.742128