The final day of the final pre-season test for 2016 has wrapped up on Friday, and Ferrari managed to stay on top of the time sheets. The Maranello-based team had managed to race fastest during five of the eight days of pre-testing sessions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
For the final day of testing, Sebastian Vettel took behind the wheel of the SF16-H for Ferrari. He managed to complete 142 laps and set his fastest lap time of 1:22.852 early in the morning while using the red-marked supersoft tires. His lap time proved fast enough for the entire session, holding off any of the best lap times set by other teams throughout the day.
Vettel had admitted that part of the team’s objectives throughout the pre-season testing was to get a good feel of the new ultrasoft tires by Pirelli. And with the race season about to get underway, the four-time world champion believes Ferrari’s challenger this year will give them “the chance to close the gap even more” from Mercedes. As for how close they’ve come to the current constructors champion, Vettel said they’ll have to wait till Melbourne to find out.
As for Mercedes, their driver and current world champion Lewis Hamilton experienced a bit of a setback when the F1 W07 Hybrid experienced a transmission problem in the morning. Nonetheless, he managed to complete 69 laps and achieve a best lap time of 1:24.133, earning him fifth place. Meanwhile, teammate Nico Rosberg took over the car in the afternoon. He managed to finish 70 laps and achieve a fastest lap time of 1:26.140, earning him 13th place.
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso and Carlos Sainz had a more impressive Friday testing onboard the Ferrari powered STR11. Sainz managed to complete 133 laps and record a fastest lap time of 1:23.134, earning him second place. In contrast, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo had only managed 6th place onboard Renault powered RB12, having done 123 laps and setting a best lap time of 1:24.427.
On the other hand, Williams’ Felipe Massa and Force India’s Sergio Perez take the third and fourth spot, respectively. A little further down, McLaren’s Jenson Button managed to complete 121 laps and set a fastest lap time of 1:24.714, earning him seventh place.