Sauber’s F1 rookie Felipe Nasr (1:21.545) has kept Ferrari power at the top of the timesheets in Jerez overnight. He completed 109 laps overall and this is in stark contrast to pre-season testing last year when cars were falling over themselves to break down first.
Kimi Raikkonen (1:21.750) went second fastest and managed 94 laps in his SF15-T. Nico Rosberg again covered more miles than any other driver doing 151 laps and setting the third best time (1:21.982).
The fourth best time was set by Felipe Massa (1:22.276) who racked up 71 laps. Half a second behind was Pastor Maldonado (1:22.713) in the Lotus E23. He managed 96 valuable laps.
Carlos Sainz Jr managed the most laps of the two Renault-powered teams, 137 in all, and went sixth fastest (1:23.187). Daniel Ricciardo had a slow start to the day after his RB11 was given a new engine. He was not chasing outright pace and went seventh quickest (1:23.901), managing 49 laps.
“Although we were limited with running today, we got some long runs together and that was encouraging,” said Daniel. “I was happy to do some 10–15 lap runs as that’s always where you get a better understanding of the car.
“I think the consistency today was good, we put a few laps together in the end, so a few positives to take away from today.”
McLaren took its place at the bottom of the pile, with Fernando Alonso some 14 seconds off the pace (1:35.553). Still, he’ll be pleased that he managed to complete 32 laps. The Honda-powered McLarens have a long way to go although the team remains bullish and says its happy with the progress being made.
“Operationally, we’ve already covered everything in our programme,” enthused Eric Boullier, McLaren racing director. “But what’s even more positive is that we’ve been able to carry out a number of longer runs. They’ve shown us that the car doesn’t have any conceptual or architectural issues.”
Unofficial testing times from Jerez (Day 3):
1. Felipe Nasr, Sauber – 1:21.545 (109 laps)
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari – 1:21.750 (94 laps)
3. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes – 1:21.982 (151 laps)
4. Felipe Massa, Williams – 1:22.276 (71 laps)
5. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus – 1:22.713 (96 laps)
6. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso – 1:23.187 (137 laps)
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull – 1:23.901 (49 laps)
8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren – 1:35.553 (32 laps)