Rapid Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari break new ground as F1 pre-season testing draws to a close
Scuderia Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  10 Mar 2017   |  6:01 pm GMT  |  212 comments

Kimi Raikkonen produced the first sub 1m19s lap from the new-for-2017 Formula 1 cars at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as pre-season testing drew to a close today.

Raikkonen’s best lap – a 1m18.634s – was 0.39s quicker than his teammate Sebastian Vettel set yesterday, which means Ferrari ends winter testing with the fastest laps.

Like Vettel’s effort from yesterday, Raikkonen set Friday’s best time just before the lunch break, but, unlike his teammate who was on ultra-softs, the 2007 was using the super-soft Pirelli tyres. Raikkonen did try an ultra-soft lap in the closing moments of the morning session but did not improve his time.

Kimi Raikkonen

As has become the standard practice over the course of the two pre-season tests of 2017, the teams focused on longer running in the afternoon, which meant Raikkonen’s time was not toppled.

But the Finnish driver did face difficulties during the afternoon as a mechanical issue caused him to spin and stop at Turn 13, brining out the red flags with just over 90 minutes of the day remaining. After the SF70H was brought back to the pits, he was able to re-join the action towards the end of the final session.

Max Verstappen ended the day with the second fast time for Red Bull, a 1m19.438s on the super-softs that was 0.804s slower than Raikkonen’s best time. But the Dutchman’s lap was Red Bull’s quickest of pre-season testing overall.

Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz was third for Toro Rosso, 1.203s slower adrift of Raikkonen, but 0.008 ahead of Mercedes Valtteri Bottas, who handed over to Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon session, and the triple world champion put in a best time of 1m19.850s on the ultra-soft tyres for fifth place.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg beat his former Force India teammate Sergio Perez to the day’s sixth fastest time, with Jolyon Palmer eighth after taking over at the wheel of the RS17 in the afternoon.

Lance Stroll was ninth for Williams, and he completed 132 laps in the FW40, which was the joint highest tour total of the day. Sainz also notched up 132 laps but did cause the final red flag of testing when he stopped on the pit-straight during the final hour.

Fernando Alonso

Romain Grosjean ended up 10th for Haas F1, ahead of Fernando Alonso and the Sauber pair of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

McLaren suffered another difficult day with the MCL32. Alonso managed just 43 laps, with only Wehrlein completing fewer (42), as the Spaniard suffered with the same electrical problems that hindered his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne during yesterday’s running.

We will run a full analysis of the 2017 test times – including intriguing long-run comparisons – over the weekend. Stay tuned.

Barcelona test two, day four, results:

1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.634s, 111 laps (super-soft)
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m19.438s +0.804s, 71 laps (super-soft)
3 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1m19.837s +1.203s, 132 laps (ultra-soft)
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m19.845s +1.211s, 53 laps (super-soft)
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.850s +1.216s, 54 laps (ultra-soft)
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m19.885s +1.251s, 45 laps (ultra-soft)
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1m20.116s +1.482s, 128 laps (ultra-soft)
8 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m20.205s +1.571s, 43 laps (ultra-soft)
9 Lance Stroll Williams 1m20.335s +1.701s, 132 laps (soft)
10 Romain Grosjean Haas 1m21.110s +2.476s, 76 laps (ultra-soft)
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m21.389s +2.755s, 43 laps (ultra-soft)
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1m21.670s +3.036s, 59 laps (super-soft)
13 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1m23.527s +4.893s, 42 laps (soft)

What do you make of the final day of 2017 F1 pre-season testing? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Outstanding fastest lap time of Raikkonnen, Max, Saint, Hulkenberg and Stroll.


the cars lap at a disgusting pace
I am impressed


Quick question which cars had the most downforce? 2005, 2015 Or 2017. Also which cars had the most powerful diffuser? 2005, 2009 (double diffuser) , 2016 or 2017?


This is the year Vettel could prove he is a racer and not just a front runner when given a good car.


So…after all these fuss [of new rules & PU], McLaren/Honda only able to produce a car that can compete with the 2016 Mercedes. Have I missed something else? Yes, this is 2017, not 2016. It is a huge waste of Alonso’s talent as another year of his golden age has to be spent with this car.


Regardless of how close the racing is between Merc, Ferrari and RB this season, if Honda have a repeat of the the 2015 catastrophy, I won’t watch it I can’t watch it.

I cannot stand the pain of watching a great team and driver brought to their knees due to the incompetence and arrogance of their so called “partner.”

I hope a miracle is born and McLaren are competitive enough to get some podiums this year. But seeing Hasegawa’s statements today about slipping further behind the frontrunners, I have given up hope.


I can bet that loud Ferrari would be 3rd force this season.


If I recall correctly Ferrari were the fastest in pre-season testing last year. Then Merc turned it up to 75% to win the championship. Merc may have to use 90-100% this year.


Seriously though, Honda make awesome lawnmower engines. Awesome.


Stop the party…. Here comes the party pooper:

On autosport and german news channels I read Mercedes was asked about Seb’s sandbagging, the day before Kimi’s 1.18

The consensus was obvious, Merc can do easily a 1.17

Of course Ferrari is quick. But I remember Vettel during 2010, 2011, saying we don’t have a lot to play with. Now Ricciardo during testing said, we don’t have 2 seconds up in our sleeves.

It will be a very dominating Mercedes (Ham: Best car I’ve ever driven), then Red Bull (listen to what Force India’s TD had to say about the beauty of the RB13).

Vettel will fight against Alonso, who is going to get the seat at Mercedes for 2018.


If only Honda had built one of these test rigs, perhaps they could have prevented a few of their problems.



I know the teams run acoustic analysis but just wondered if, say, Williams were running full beans someone has compared their acoustic data to Mercedes and could then work out how much the Mercedes were sand bagging.


Just read that 17 cars are using more fuel than predicted so may be even more fuel saving😣


So one team is half-and-half? Where did you read this?


Although I am happy with my Honda sedan for its drivability & fuel economy, but what the manufacturer has so far far achieved in F1 is a complete joke. How come such a giant car maker can’t build a decent engine over the last 3 years ago reveals complexity of these hybrid F1 engines and Honda bosses’ ambitious greed and obtuseness. Wonder if this negative publicity is hurting their road car sales.

Turns out F. Alonso is not only one of the best drivers but is also politically & financially smartest out there. We will probably witness again him doing more sunbathes this year unless Honda fixes the problem.


How does a team like McLaren become such a joke? Very sad to see. At least Ferrari give glimmers of hope on their way to disappointment.


Can we have an article explaining what Honda are up to? I understand the architectural change of the engine, but this presumably ran on a dyno for weeks/months prior to being fitted to the chassis. How then does the engine fail constantly? Is it similar to the lack of correlation of wind tunnel data to the track or something else?


@ Adil…there are lots of rumours floating around re the Honda engine. They vary from a problem with torsional rigidity from the ‘ICE block’ due to the reduction of material volume between bore centres which are set by the FIA. Then there are stories which refer to crankshaft dampening problems which in turn have lead to serious harmonics issues bad enough to damage valve trains and energy stores. It is frustrating to never find out what the problems are but then again that’s nothing new in F1.


Sounds like their “pieve of jewellery” works well on a static, balanced, undisturbed dyno – but isnt so great when its actually in an F1 car being bounced about……. schoolboy error making it so lightweight that it cant take the abuse?


Watch williams b4 this turbo era 😂 history repeating itself


McLaren-Honda… Ugly situation. Makes me think of the BRM H-16: spilling oil, imbalances causing vibrations bad enough to destroy the block, pistons, etc. A pair of DNFs at Melbourne seems likely. Maybe Alonso should drive a different sort of Honda this May and race for Ganassi at the Indy 500; at least he would have a chance at a reasonably competitive car.

Aussie pole time? 1:19.6.
Crazy prediction Aussie top five finishers:

With my luck, they’ll finish in that order and I won’t have a penny on it.


I have a feeling Kimi will win at Aus


Ham in 5th! So is that Ham takes pole, leads all the way and retires on the last lap, having lapped Sainz 😉


No, a crazy finishers prediction would be:


Not likely, I’ll put no money on it, but at least it’s FIVE! And if your (six) places are correct, the drinks are on me!

Roll on Melbourne. I’ll be watching McLuckless Horrid from behind the sofa. The season is full of promise, I just hope the drivers (I’m not including Max in this) can overtake…..


So Red Bull don’t feature in your speculations?




Ice storm!


From a Honda point of view I don’t understand why they don’t put their engine in the back of an old f1 car or gp2 car and get a test team to just pound around suzuka which they own everyday. Their dyno testing is obviously not up to standard.
James do you know if they have been testing the engine in a mule car?.


Rules don’t permit it


Do the rules really not allow it?. How come Lance stroll has been going around some of the circuits in an old williams I think a 14 model carrying out testing?.


Because the equipment was all two years old. That is permitted in the regulations


atleast they should be allowed to fix this issue..I thought they tested that engine in a track car….This is insane the amount of money thrown into basically no return. James do you see mclaren sticking with honda or even honda sticking with F1…it just feels like they’re not up to it


McLaren should never have left Mercedes. Honda’s lack of progress is shocking with the budget they have. Ron Dennis’ insistence that you can’t fight for titles while running a customer engine strikes me as hollow since that’s exactly what Red Bull did in 2009/2010, and are aiming to do again. And in any case, Ron’s gone.

I’m still not convinced it’s going to happen, but if Vettel goes on to win the title with Ferrari this season, that would just top it all off for Alonso. McLaren are wasting the talents of one of the finest drivers of his generation and it’s a damn shame.


Wrong, because Red Bull were the works Renault team in those seasons.


That’s not correct. Renault was sold to Genii and rebranded as Lotus for the 2011 season, by which time Red Bull had already won both championships using a Renault engine.


I think you’ll find mercedes refused to continue to supply mclaren as they would be too much of a threat to the silver arrows works team.


Not discounting it, but I’ve never bought that explanation.

The deal for Honda engines was done by Whitmarsh during 2013 – Mercedes had snatched Hamilton and Paddy Lowe, and McLaren were already a long way behind, with the likelihood of that gap growing when the new regs came in for 2014. Mercedes also made it clear that the works team would have an advantage with the new V6 because the design of the engine would be influenced by the design of the chassis – everyone else would have to make do with what they were given.

It always looked to me like the split was initiated from McLaren’s side because they weren’t satisfied with that (probably rightly so given their stature, at the time anyway), and nothing anyone said led me to believe otherwise.


I Remember Toto wolff last year when ask about 2017 he told that you cannot underestimate Ferrari in 2017 as they started very early on 2017 car. what that tell me is that he is little worry about this team progress and may be they are running little behind the schedule we seen with Merc when 2014 engine rule was announce they were the team who started development very early and had big advantage. does starting development early help team and if that is the case how much Ferrari have advantage than other because when u look at their car it completely different concept to others so may be that has helped them to design this kind of car


I hope that Ferrari pace is true and they can Win but also hope other team mainly McLaren Honda can learn or take motivation from Ferrari how to turn around they had very bad engine in 2014 but learn in 2015 and improved their engine and everything same with 2016 they had many problem but look turn it around in 2017 were no one though that Ferrari would produce innovative car and reliable engine .I am hearing that they will new innovation in engine in 1st race. that is called team work were dont blame on each other try to solve the problem and improve . Ferrari for the 1st time in many year didnt speak they just work hard and result is showing I also feel that they got best team driver which understand and respect each other Seb and Kimi look amazing partnership.


Melbourne can’t come soon enough. Vettel is now 2nd favourite with the bookies ahead of Bottas and Raikkonen is now the same odds at Verstappen and ahead of Ricciardo.


I put a cheeky happy new year bet on…


I wonder if honda will be better off using last year’s engine for the first few races until they fix the overheating and vibration issues.


How much modifications will need to be done to shoehorn a different engine into the car? Just shave a few mm here and there? Or a complete redesign of the engine bay?


Should have known when McLaren painted their car like a Manor / Marrusia / Virgin that it was going to be slow. It’s very sad for a great team and for us fans that are once again denied seeing one of the greatest drivers racing for wins.

I just hope Ferrari are genuinely quick, could make for an interesting season. If it’s all Mercedes I fear Hamilton will walk it, I can see the year ending with people having much more respect for Nico Rosberg than they did last year.

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