No wind, no rain and no warmth – that is the weather picture for Friday. It’s already the eighth day of running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and today (Friday) marks the final opportunity for all Formula 1 teams to test their cars before the 2018 Australian Grand Prix practice in two weeks.
Sebastian Vettel laid down a marker on Thursday with a new unofficial circuit record and Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen now continues the Maranello team’s programme, which included set-up and tyre evaluation with different fuel loads, the classic race weekend simulation that signs off winter testing for every driver. During the monring session, the 2007 Formula One world champion completed 80 laps, with a personal best of 1:17.221, using the hypersoft tyre. With that time, Kimi was less than four hundredths of a second off Sebastian Vettel’s testing best.
Ambient temperature is 19 degrees and track temperature is 38 degrees, making it a very productive morning for most of the teams, completing lap after lap after lap. However, three teams did not get the chance to run as much as they would have liked: McLaren (engine change), Sauber (spin Leclerc) and Renault (gearbox issues). Kimi Raikkonen will round off testing for Scuderia Ferrari with a similar programme during the afternoon session.
The full line-up:
Scuderia Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen
Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton (AM), Valtteri Bottas (PM)
Red Bull – Daniel Ricciardo
Force India – Esteban Ocon
Williams – Sergey Sirotkin (AM), Lance Stroll (PM)
Renault – Carlos Sainz Jr. (AM), Nico Hulkenberg (PM)
Toro Rosso – Brendon Hartley
Haas – Romain Grosjean
McLaren – Fernando Alonso
Sauber – Charles Leclerc