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Rosberg quickest as Mercedes up their pace in Spain

01 Mar 2016

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg set the pace on Tuesday, as this week’s final pre-season test got underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Rosberg’s best time of 1m 23.022s, set on soft tyres, put him two-tenths clear of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas - who clocked his best lap on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound.

It was the first time Mercedes have run the soft rubber, the world champions having used only mediums and hards in last week’s opening test. And it was another busy day for the Silver Arrows, with Rosberg notching up 82 laps in the morning and Lewis Hamilton another 90 as he completed a race simulation in the afternoon.

Fernando Alonso brought out the red flags just before lunch when his McLaren stopped on track, but the team bounced back in the afternoon, with the Spaniard totalling 93 laps en route to a highly encouraging third in the times.

Just behind Alonso was Kimi Raikkonen, who spent much of the afternoon in the Ferrari garage thanks to technical problems, and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat who also lost track time thanks to a brake problem which caused a small fire on his RB12.

It was also a frustrating day for newcomers Haas, who were forced to abandon their programme early thanks to a fuel system problem which left Esteban Gutierrez 11th in the times on just 23 laps.

By contrast, Toro Rosso and Force India enjoyed excellent reliability, with Max Verstappen completing a mammoth 144 laps in his newly race-liveried STR11 and Nico Hulkenberg 121 in his VJM09.

They finished seventh and eighth respectively, just ahead of Felipe Nasr who gave Sauber's 2016 machine, the C35, a solid debut as he racked up 103 laps. 

Tuesday's unofficial testing times from Barcelona
POS Driver Team/Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid 1:23.022   82
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes FW38 1:23.229 0.207 123
3 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda MP4-31 1:24.735 1.713 93
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari SF16-H 1:24.836 1.814 72
5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer RB12 1:25.049 2.027 69
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid 1:25.051 2.029 90
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR11 1:25.176 2.154 144
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes VJM09 1:25.336 2.314 121
9 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari C35 1:25.493 2.471 103
10 Kevin Magnussen Renault R.S.16 1:25.760 2.738 119
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari VF-16 1:26.661 3.639 23
12 Rio Haryanto Manor Racing-Ferrari MRT05 1:27.625 4.603 45


At a glance: The major talking points from Day 1 of the final test

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