Kimi Raikkonen went quickest on the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, lowering the winter benchmark set by Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel on Thursday.
Raikkonen became the first driver to break the 1:19 barrier, clocking a time of 1:18.634 on a set of supersoft compound during the morning session.
This laptime put him comfortably clearer of his nearest challenger Max Verstappen, whose Red Bull was nearly eight tenths slower in second.
However, it wasn’t a perfect day for Raikkonen with the Ferrari driver stopping at the chicane with just over 90 minutes to go. The Finn, however, was able to return to track before the chequered flag drew, crossing the 100 lap mark.
Behind Raikkonen and Verstappen, Carlos Sainz occupied third place in the timesheets with a time of 1:19.837s.
The two Mercedes drivers completed 107 laps between them, with new recruit Valtteri Bottas edging Lewis Hamilton by five thousandth of a second to finish fourth. While the difference between the two Mercedes drivers was minimal, Hamilton’s best effort came on the faster ultrasoft tyre.
Nico Hulkenberg, too, used Pirelli’s purple-striped compound to set his fastest time of the day - which was good enough to put him sixth in the timesheets, ahead of former teammate and Force India driver Sergio Perez.
Hulkenberg’s current teammate Jolyon Palmer was next up in eighth, while Lance Stroll completed his most productive outing so far, racking up 132 laps to end ninth. Stroll and Sainz jointly led the lap count on Friday.
Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean completed the Top 10 with a grand total of 76 laps, despite two separate stoppages during the morning session.
Fernando Alonso, too, caused two separate red flags in the morning sessions due to electrical problems which have plagued McLaren-Honda’s second test.
The Spaniard could only manage 43 laps, with his quickest time slotting him in 12th place.
The Saubers again propped up the timesheets with Marcus Ericsson beating Pascal Wehrlein to 12th.
1. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:18.634 - 111 laps
2. Max Verstappen - Red Bull - 1:19.438 - 71 laps
3. Carlos Sainz - Toro Rosso - 1:19.837 - 132 laps
4. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1:19.845 - 53 laps
5. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:19.850 - 54 laps
6. Nico Hullkenberg - Renault - 1:19.885 - 45 laps
7. Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:20.116 - 128 laps
8. Jolyon Palmer - Renault - 1:20.205 - 43 laps
9. Lance Stroll - Williams - 1:20.335 - 132 laps
10. Romain Grosjean - Haas - 1:21.110 - 76 laps
11. Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:21.389 - 43 laps
12. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:21.670 - 59 laps
13. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber - 1:23.527 - 42 laps
by Rachit Thukral