Kimi Raikkonen’s 1:22.785 on the ultra-soft tyres stood as Thursday’s P1 time at the Circuit de Catalunya – and also the fastest time of pre-season testing.
The Ferrari driver used the new ultra-soft Pirelli tyres in the hour before the lunch break before swapping to long runs in the afternoon.
His 1:22.785 was 0.408s up quicker than Felipe Massa’s on the soft tyres while the Williams driver was 0.058s up on Nico Hulkenberg’s best, which the Force India driver set on the ultra-softs.
Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso was another driver to trial the new rubber and posted a 1:23.382 to edge Nico Rosberg, Felipe Nasr and Fernando Alonso. It was a solid day for the McLaren driver who amassed 118 laps as he focused on long runs in the afternoon.
Alonso’s fastest time was set on the super-soft tyres while Pascal Wehrlein in ninth clocked his 1:24.913 on the ultra-softs. The Manor rookie put in a late run to close the gap to Alonso to just 0.043s.
Daniil Kvyat and Jolyon Palmer, who made a late improvement, completed the top ten ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver replaced Rosberg at the lunch break and spent his afternoon focusing on long runs with his W07 shod with the medium tyres.
Romain Grosjean was slowest of all on a day where Haas saw red on three occasions. The first two were caused by him sliding off the track, first at Turn 4 and later at Turn 1, while the third was the result of his VF-16 grinding to a halt at Turn 10. He still managed 78 laps.
1 Raikkonen Ferrari 1:22.785 136 laps
2 Massa Williams 1:23.193 119 laps
3 Hulkenberg Force India 1:23.251 137 laps
4 Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:23.382 159 laps
5 Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.126 81 laps
6 Nasr Sauber 1:24.768 116 laps
7 Alonso McLaren 1:24.870 118 laps
8 Wehrlein Manor 1:24.913 48 laps
9 Kvyat Red Bull 1:25.141 121 laps
10 Palmer Renault 1:26.224 98 laps
11 Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.488 63 laps
12 Grosjean Haas 1:27.196 78 laps