Lewis Hamilton continues to impress in the Mercedes car with a fast time
Hamilton was 0.708 seconds faster than second place Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
Here is a quote by BBC analyst Gary Anderson
“Some of the lap times we’ve seen already from Mercedes have been pretty good but that one is pretty impressive,” Anderson said. “I think they have the talents to win races and win the championship this year.”
Hamilton ran the Mercedes during the morning session and was able to complete 3 laps that were all in the 1 minute 20 second time frame. This was faster than anyone has run all day.
Massa was running third and decreased his lap time with soft tires to 1:21.457 and then 1:21.266 using the ‘super-softs’.
The Brazilian was the only driver able to keep the softest tires in good shape for long enough around a whole lap to benefit from their greater grip to set a faster lap time.
His day ended early when a front wheel came off and he had to stop out on the track.
As said before test times are not the greatest indicator of performance for teams to start the season. But that being said Hamilton still looks impressive.
Mercedes times speak for themselves they are progressing nicely and they have consistently improved lap times throughout the time in Barcelona. All the other teams have not been able to show this type of improvement or lap times.
It seems likely that Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari and McLaren are all too close in lap times, car performance and consistency in progress to call a clear winner.
Jules Bianchi also ran his first laps as a Marussia team member. He had times 0.8 sec faster than his teammate Max Chilton could achieve at any time on the track at the Circuit de Catalunya. He was also faster than Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham who finished at the back of the pack today.
Here are the times from today from the BBC F1 website:
FINAL PRE-SEASON TEST, CIRCUIT DE CATALUNYA, DAY THREE, FASTEST TIMES
1. Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:20.558
2. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:21.266
3. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India-Mercedes 1:21.627
4. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams-Renault 1:22.305
5. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams-Renault 1:22.468
6. Esteban Gutierrez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.553
7. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:22.658
8. Sergio Perez (Mex) McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.694
9. Jean-Eric Vergne (Fra) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.223
10. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus-Renault 1:23.380
11. Davide Valsecchi (Ita) Lotus-Renault 1:23.448
12. Jules Bianchi (Fra) Marussia-Cosworth 1:24.028
13. Giedo van der Garde (Ned) Caterham-Renault 1:24.520