Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets on Thursday as the first Barcelona pre-season test concluded with Pirelli conducting wet-weather running on an artificially-soaked track.
Several trucks took to the Circuit de Catalunya twice during the day to simulate wet-weather conditions, allowing Pirelli to test its full wet and intermediate compounds.
However, at both occasions the track quickly dried out, with teams taking the advantage to get more mileage on slick tyres.
At the end of the day’s running, Raikkonen headed the timesheets, setting a time of 1:20.872 on the soft tyres.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second after a late improvement placed him within a second of Raikkonen’s best effort.
Renault once again split the driving duties between Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg with the Englishman finishing ahead of the duo in third place.
Haas recorded the highest mileage of all teams, with Romain Grosjean clocking 118 laps despite much of the day being compromised by the wet conditions. The French driver was classified fourth fastest, with his best time of 1:22.309 being set on the supersoft rubber,
Further back, last year’s GP2 runner up and Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi enjoyed a positive day behind the wheels of the Sauber C36, finishing fifth in the order with a total of 84 laps.
He was closely followed by Sergio Perez, the Force India driver classified just over a tenth behind in sixth.
McLaren enjoyed another productive outing after a troubled start to pre-season testing, with Stoffel Vandoorne testing the fastest time for the MCL32 so far, albeit on the ultrasoft tyres.
Mercedes, however, took no part in the morning session due to an electronic glitch, which meant Lewis Hamilton got no running whatsoever on the wet tyres.
Valtteri Bottas, however, made up for Mercedes; lack of mileage by racking up 68 laps in the afternoon, many of which were spent on testing Pirelli’s blue and green-striped tyres.
Hulkenberg finished at the bottom of the timesheets, while Toro Rosso was restricted to a single lap after opting to change the Renault engine on the back of the STR12.
by Rachit Thukral