Saturday, 21 February 2015

Maldonado tops the time-sheets on day 3 in Barcelona

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

The Lotus F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado topped the time sheets on day 3 of the opening Barcelona winter test.

The Venezuelan completed 104 laps on his last day in the E23 Hybrid. His fastest time of 1m 24.384s was just slightly faster than Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen who completed 129 laps in the STR10 the most of any driver in the field on Saturday. The Dutchman set a fastest time of 1m 24.379s.

Speaking following today's running Maldonado stated:

'We achieved a lot today and it was great to complete so many laps and end the day as the fastest car. Certainly, I feel much more confident in the E23 and we’re learning a lot about it with all the laps we’re completing. I’m able to push when needed and everything about the whole package feels a lot more together than last year, especially if you remember where we were in terms of performance and reliability during the pre-season in 2014. We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re making very good progress so we’re all very positive about the work being done.'

The Lotus F1 Team's Head of Trackside Operations Alan Permane commented stating:

'It was a productive day for us today. We chose to stay in the garage when it was damp outside yet we still managed to complete over a hundred laps. We’ve worked through a long checklist including aero and tyre assessments in the morning, then various performance assessments in the afternoons. Our aero work has been particularly productive and we’re showing good correlation with our wind tunnel and simulations.”

World champion Lewis Hamilton was third fastest for the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, completing 101 laps with a fastest time of 1m 26.076s.

The Sauber F1 Team’s Marcus Ericsson was fourth fastest for the Swiss based outfit. The Swedish driver completed 53 laps with a fastest time of 1m26.340s in his Ferrari powered C34 which was faster than the works Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel who was in fifth place having completed 105 laps in the SF15-T. The German’s fastest time was a 1m 26.407s.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat was sixth fastest for the Milton Keynes based outfit as the Russian completed 112 laps in the RB11 with a fastest time of 1m 26.589s.

It was a tough day for the Williams Martini Racing Team who had both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas in action. Massa completed 55 laps ending the day in seventh place with a 1m 26.912s while Bottas completed 49 laps and ended the day in ninth place.

Pascal Wehrlein was eighth fastest for the Sahara Force India Formula One Team completing 81 laps with a time of 1m 27.333s.

McLaren-Honda’s Jenson Button had a nightmare day as the team had a recurrence of the broken seal on the MGU-K which curtailed his running on Thursday. The 2009 world champion completed 24 laps today with a fastest time of 1m 29.151s.

Testing concludes at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya tomorrow.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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