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F1 - Barcelona II, day 4: Räikkönen fastest on final day of F1 testing

Alonso in 2nd place

9 March 2018 - 18h10, by Olivier Ferret 

Kimi Räikkönen kept Ferrari on top of the timesheets as pre-season testing came to a close in Barcelona today, with the Finn using the hypersoft tyre to eclipse surprise second-place man Fernando Alonso by half a second. Third quickest was Renault driver Carlos Sainz.

Ferrari ratcheted up the pace on the final two days of the test, with Sebastian Vettel yesterday claiming an unofficial circuit record with a lap of 1:17.182. And Räikkönen got close to that mark on the final day of testing, posting a 1:17.221 during the morning session to claim a top spot that went largely unchallenged until the final hour of testing.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was the first to make a move, emerging from 1 hour, 20 minute spell in his team’s garage for set-up changes with a set of supersofts on board. The Australian eventually claimed fourth spot with a time of 1:18.327, some 1.1s behind Vettel but two step up the hardness level of Pirelli’s tyre range.

Alonso claimed second place with a late flourish on hypersofts, which came another morning of frustration as he was temporarily halted by a turbo problem. His best time of 1:17.784 left him 0.563s behind Räikkönen. The Spaniard briefly took top spot in the final minutes of the session, but his lap was deleted for cutting the final chicane.

Like his compatriot, Sainz didn’t see much action in the morning as his team replaced the gearbox of his car but in the afternoon he managed a good lap on hypersofts to finish eight tenths of a second behind Räikkönen.

With Ricciardo fourth, fifth place went to the day’s busiest man, Romain Grosjean who used the ultrasofts to get to within a tenth of the Red Bull during his 181 laps of the Barcelona circuit.

Valtteri Bottas took over from eventual 11th-placed driver Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon to finish sixth for Mercedes using the medium tyre. The Finn’s 104 laps allied to Hamilton 97 meant that the team broke past the 1000-lap mark for winter testing.

Brendon Hartley was seventh for Toro Rosso ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon, while Charles Leclerc recovered from a morning spin to take ninth place.

Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin completed the top 10 ahead of last-placed team-mate Lance Stroll.

01 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari SF71H 1:17.221 153 HS
02 Fernando Alonso McLaren MCL33 1:17.784 93 HS
03 Carlos Sainz Renault RS18 1:18.092 45 HS
04 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull RB14 1:18.327 92 SS
05 Romain Grosjean Haas VF-18 1:18.412 181 US
06 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W09 1:18.825 104 M
07 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso STR13 1:18.949 156 HS
08 Esteban Ocon Force India VJM11 1:18.967 163 HS
09 Charles Leclerc Sauber C37 1:19.118 75 HS
10 Sergey Sirotkin Williams FW41 1:19.189 105 US
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W09 1:19.464 97 SS
12 Lance Stroll Williams FW41 1:19.954 27 S

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