Kimi Raikkonen ensured Ferrari finished Formula One pre-season testing with the quickest lap after setting an impressive time on the final morning of winter testing.
Using the super-soft tyres on a qualifying simulation run, Raikkonen was able to push the limits of Ferrari's bold new SF70H, setting a 1:18.634 -- 0.4s clear of the previous fastest lap set by teammate Sebastian Vettel the day before. The speed of the lap not only underlines Ferrari's progress over the winter, but also the remarkable step Formula One's new regulations have made to slash lap times to record-setting pace. The fastest F1 lap ever recorded at this layout of the Circuit de Catalunya was a 1:18.339 set by Felipe Massa using a 2008 Ferrari with 2009-spec slick tyres fitted, but it is likely the pole position time at the Spanish Grand Prix this year will break that record.
Ferrari's day was not perfect, however, after an electrical issue brought his car to a halt at Turn 13 with 90 minutes of the session remaining. Ferrari fixed the issue in the remaining time, allowing Raikkonen to clock up 14 more laps by the chequered flag and a total of 111 laps for the day.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen was second fastest with a 1:19.438s, also set on super-softs. It was the fastest lap registered by the RB13 during the two weeks of pre-season testing and only the second day in which it has dipped under the 1:20s. A turbo issue in the afternoon limited Verstappen's lap count to 71 laps -- once again highlighting the fragility of the Renault engine ahead of the first race of the season.
Renault power occupied third place too after Carlos Sainz used the ultra-softs tyres to set Toro Rosso's best pre-season lap time of 1:19.837. His car also suffered a problem when it ground to a halt on the pit straight in the afternoon session. Nevertheless, he still completed a total of 132 laps in an otherwise problem-free day.
Once again, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton split Mercedes' running, with the Finn driving in the morning and Briton in the afternoon. Bottas -- using super-softs -- just edged Hamilton -- using ultra-softs -- by 0.005s, although, outside Mercedes' engineering office, the exact fuel loads and run plans for the two cars are unknown.
Nico Hulkenberg went sixth fastest for Renault after completing the morning session and setting the RS17's first sub 1:20s lap on ultra-soft tyres. He handed the car over to Jolyon Palmer in the afternoon, whose best time was 0.3s slower, with Force India's Sergio Perez filling the small gap between the two Renault drivers in seventh.
Eighteen-year-old rookie Lance Stroll completed 132 laps in the Williams in his last test day ahead of his debit and set a best time of 1:20.335. He finished ahead of Romain Grosjean, who caused one red flag period when he spun into the gravel at Turn 5 and a second when his Haas stopped on track between Turns 9 and 10.
But there's always someone worse off, and in this case it was Fernando Alonso, who completed just 43 laps on his final day of pre-season testing. The McLaren-Honda was blighted by electrical issues for the second day in a row, causing two red flags before the lunch break when it stopped on track.
When the car did emerge it was always for short runs, but he managed a couple of quick laps on the ultra-softs towards the end of the day that yielded his best time of the week with a 1:21.389 -- 0.04s off the best time set by teammate Stoffel Vandoorne on Thursday. Alonso's 43 laps rounded off an awful pre-season for McLaren, which sees the team head to the opening race of the season struggling for both performance and reliability.
The two Saubers were at the bottom of the timesheets, with Marcus Ericsson three seconds off Raikkonen's pace and teammate Pascal Wehrlein a further 1.857s adrift.
Times at close (18:00):
1. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:18.634 - 111 laps
2. Max Verstappen - Red Bull - 1:19.438 - 71 laps
3. Carlos Sainz - Toro Rosso - 1:19.837 - 132 laps
4. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1:19.845 - 53 laps
5. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:19.850 - 54 laps
6. Nico Hullkenberg - Renault - 1:19.885 - 45 laps
7. Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:20.116 - 128 laps
8. Jolyon Palmer - Renault - 1:20.205 - 43 laps
9. Lance Stroll - Williams - 1:20.335 - 132 laps
10. Romain Grosjean - Haas - 1:21.110 - 76 laps
11. Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:21.389 - 43 laps
12. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:21.670 - 59 laps
13. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber - 1:23.527 - 42 laps
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