Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets in a Ferrari on the final day of the first Formula One pre-season test on Wednesday, while world champion Lewis Hamilton chalked up 117 laps for Mercedes despite a spin.
Hamilton had completed another 52 laps for the constructors’ champions just over four hours into the session, as his spin after 44 laps did not damage the car.
Raikkonen led the way with a four-day test leading 1 minute 20.841 seconds under sunny Spanish skies from Sauber’s Magnus Ericsson (1:22.019) and Hamilton (1:22.172).
Ferrari have shown good pace in Jerez with their new driver, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, topping the timesheets Sunday and Monday, and Raikkonen second Tuesday.
Mercedes had some minor hiccups in previous days apart from Hamilton’s spin, but the Briton and his German team-mate have collected a lot of important data for the team Jerez as Rosberg totalled 308 laps on his two days and Hamilton 208 for a team total 516, far ahead of Sauber (381), Toro Rosso (353) and Ferrari (348).
“Before the flag I just want to say well done guys. Great first week back!” Mercedes tweeted Hamilton as saying via team radio.
Mercedes dominated the past season, winning 16 of the 19 races, 11 of them from Hamilton who beat Rosberg for the world title.
Former champions Red Bull had Daniil Kvyat stop on the track which according to the team was likely an Energy Recovery System problem, but the Russian was soon back driving.
McLaren had to end testing early but ex-champion Jenson Button at least got 35 laps before a fuel pump problem stopped him.
“We’re not going to complete that fuel pump change before the chequer, so that’s our running over for this test,” McLaren tweeted.
Lotus encountered an engine problem but their driver Romain Grosjean spoke of “a really good feeling behind the wheel” on his first day.
Eight teams are at the first of three rounds of pre-season action which ends on Wednesday. Two further rounds of testing are scheduled for later in the month in Barcelona.
Not present in Jerez are Force India who insist they will be on the grid for the March 15 season opener in Australia. However they will likely not have the new car ready for the second round of testing.
Also present in Australia could be Marussia who according to a statement from administrators Wednesday are to come out of administration on February amid fresh investment for “a longer term viable solution.” (DPA)