Vettel clinches final pre-season P1


Sebastian Vettel concluded pre-season testing with the final P1 as he edged the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz on a day where Mercedes suffered their first break down.

A 1:22.852 for Vettel set during the morning’s session ensured the Ferrari finished top of the timesheets by 0.282s ahead of Carlos Sainz while Felipe Massa was third.

Vettel and Massa both used the super-soft tyres for their flying laps while Sainz’s was set on the new Pirelli ultra-soft tyres.

Sergio Perez was fourth for Force India as he clocked a 1:23.721 on the soft tyres. The Mexican racer was responsible for the afternoon’s only red flag as his VJM09 came to a stop at Turn 10. That necessitated a 15-minute stoppage as the marshals had to lay cement dust to absorb spillage.

Perez edged Lewis Hamilton by 0.412s, however, the World Champ was running the mediums all morning.

On a day where Mercedes once again split the driving duties, Hamilton’s pre-season ended minutes before the lunch break as a transmission problem caused his W07 to grind to a halt. It was Mercedes’ first red flag of the eight days.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth quickest ahead of Jenson Button, Jolyon Palmer, Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean.

Rio Haryanto, who missed the morning’s session due to a mechanic issue with his Manor MRT05, was 11th on the ultra-softs. His best time was a 1:25.899 which put him ahead of Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Rosberg. The latter was in action only in the afternoon and again concentrated solely on long runs.

1 Vettel Ferrari 1:22.852 142 laps
2 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:23.134 133 laps
3 Massa Williams 1:23.644 129 laps
4 Perez Force India 1:23.721 60 laps
5 Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.133 69 laps
6 Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.427 123 laps
7 Button McLaren 1:24.714 121 laps
8 Palmer Renault 1:24.859 90 laps
9 Ericsson Sauber 1:25.031 132 laps
10 Grosjean Haas 1:25.255 66 laps
11 Gutierrez Haas 1:25.422 25 laps
12 Haryanto Manor 1:25.899 58 laps
13 Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.140 70 laps