Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen takes the top spot on the final day of winter testing
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News March 9, 2018 Updated: 4:38 PM PT
MONTMELO, Spain — Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen finished on top on the final day of pre-season winter testing as Ferrari appeared to set the pace ahead of the start of the season.
“Overall, I feel we have a good package,” Raikkonen said. “For sure the weather at the start of testing wasn’t ideal, but we have finished with a couple of pretty good days. The car gives me a good feeling and, even if there are still a lot of things to improve, its reasonably easy to drive and it reacts to the various set-up changes. However, no one can say where we really are, compared to our rivals. We’ll have a better idea in a couple of weeks in Melbourne and then, in general, after the first few races of the season."
Raikkonen continues the progress the team has had throughout the winter test session finishing 0.563s ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso who had a rough morning after the team discovered an issue with the car’s turbo system. Alonso still managed to put some milage in, finishing with 93 laps.
Carlos Sainz finished third after being hindered with a gearbox issue that cost the team valuable time on track. Despite finishing third, he only managed to log in 45 laps. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth as he ran through the team’s run program ending the day with 92 laps.
Romain Grosjean finished out the final day of testing fifth for Haas F1 as the American team finished the day with 181 laps of hefty milage.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas ended the day in sixth. Bottas took the afternoon to focus on mileage and tire data, ending the day with 104 laps.
Brandon Hartley finished out the day seventh with 156 laps in what could be seen as a promising week for Toro Rosso. They end the week with a total of 498 laps for a grand total of 822 laps over the course of eight days.
“It was another really good day today, we completed 159 laps within two hours from the end of the session. I drove the car in Day One of Test 01, and I was able to drive on the last day, so I opened and closed the pre-season tests - it’s been great to see how much we have unlocked from the STR13 and all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. The people watching back home might not realize but there’s so many people involved to get these cars working to perfection! I think we’re really in the mix and that we’re looking good for that midfield battle, which is really fierce," said Hartley.
Esteban Ocon finished eighth with 163 laps for Force India ahead of Sauber’s Charles Leclerc who prepares to make his F1 debut in just a few weeks. Leclerc suffered a spin during the session and ended the day ninth with 75 laps on the board.
Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin finished tenth ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who finished 11th for Mercedes and added 97 laps to the team’s total for the week giving the silver arrows a total of 1,040 laps during the two weeks of winter testing.
“It’s still difficult to know exactly where we are in comparison to Red Bull and Ferrari and we won’t fully know that until we get to the first race. But I feel like we’ve got as much information as we could in order to equip us with the best data to go to the season opener. The preparation has been really good in the time that we had,” said Hamilton.
Sirotkin’s Williams teammate Lance Stroll finished at the bottom of the order after a failure in the fuel system held up his remaining time on track leaving him with only 27 laps.
Only two weeks remain before the start of the 2018 Formula One season from Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia.
Pre-Season Test 2, Day 4
1. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:17.221s 153
2. Alonso McLaren 1:17.784s +0.563 93
3. Sainz Renault 1:18.092s +0.871 45
4. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:18.327s +1.106 92
5. Grosjean Haas 1:18.412s +1.191 181
6. Bottas Mercedes 1:18.825s +1.604 104
7. Hartley Toro Rosso 1:18.949s +1.728 156
8. Ocon Force India 1:18.967s +1.746 163
9. Leclerc Sauber 1:19.118s +1.897 75
10. Sirotkin Williams 1:19.189s +1.968 105
11. Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.464s +2.243 97
12. Stroll Williams 1:19.954s +2.733 27