Skip to content

Hamilton flies on penultimate day of final test

Mar 2, 2013, 11:24 AM EDT

AUTO-F1-PRIX-MONTMELO-TEST Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton topped the penultimate of Formula One testing at the Circuit de Catalunya today.

The time recorded by the Mercedes driver was the quickest so far at the circuit over the seven days of testing, causing many to question Hamilton’s skepticism for the season ahead.

Hamilton’s time of 1:20.558 was over seven tenths quicker than second placed Felipe Massa. Ferrari will be pleased with the progress made today following their focus on race simulations on Friday, but the gap to Mercedes will undoubtedly cause alarm bells to ring.

Massa had a car failure late on in the day when one of his wheels came off heading into turn ten, bringing out one of three red flags in Barcelona. Davide Valsecchi, deputizing for a sick Kimi Raikkonen, also suffered a stoppage out on the track just before lunch, with Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham similarly halting proceedings in the morning session.

Continuing his good form in third place was Adrian Sutil, answering many critics who believed he would not be competitive following a year out. In fourth and fifth were the two Williams drivers, Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas, who shared the running today, and a close sixth was Esteban Gutierrez for Sauber.

Mark Webber failed to live up to Red Bull’s expectations, finishing over two seconds off Hamilton down in seventh. Sergio Perez will be just as disappointed to have finished eighth in his McLaren, and Toro Rosso’s good testing form failed to continue as Jean-Eric Vergne could only manage P9.

Despite bringing out the red flag, Valsecchi showed good pace in the Lotus to finish eleventh, just 0.068 seconds behind the team’s full time driver Romain Grosjean.

Jules Bianchi had a good debut for Marussia as the Anglo-Russian team once again edged out Caterham, finishing two tenths ahead of Giedo van der Garde.

Mercedes will hope to repeat their good form on the final day of pre-season testing tomorrow, but with Vettel, Button and Alonso all having one final run, Hamilton’s time is bound to come under threat. The team will however be encouraged by their testing pace.

Unofficial Times

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.558
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.266 +0.708
3. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:21.627 +1.069
4. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:22.305 +1.747
5. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:22.468 +1.910
6. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:22.553 +1.995
7. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:22.658 +2.100
8. Sergio Perez McLaren 1:22.694 +2.136
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:23.223 +2.665
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:23.380 +2.822
11. David Valsecchi Lotus 1:23.448 +2.890
12. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:24.028 +3.470
13. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:24.235 +3.677

Latest Posts
  1. Hamilton hits back by topping second practice in Malaysia

    Mar 27, 2015, 3:31 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    British driver responds to the pace shown by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in FP1 by topping the second session on Friday.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Malaysian GP FP2 at 2a ET on NBCSN and Live Extra

    Mar 27, 2015, 1:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    Catch all of the action from second practice live on NBCSN and Live Extra.

  3. Rosberg quickest in Malaysia FP1 as Hamilton hits trouble

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:31 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Practice Getty Images

    Defending world champion forced to stop his car out on track early in practice, but Rosberg enjoys a more fruitful session.

  4. Raikkonen encouraged by Ferrari’s early season pace

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:30 PM EDT

    © AP © AP

    Finnish driver believes that the team has made a big step forward over the winter.

  5. Mazda Road to Indy: Driver-by-driver preview in Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, USF2000

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    MazdaRoadToIndy

    A quick look through the runners in Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 for 2015.

  6. Nasr: Early races present golden opportunities for Sauber

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    © Getty Images Getty Images

    Difficulties faced by a number of teams give Sauber an early chance to rack up some points.

  7. Hamilton bemused by Red Bull’s call for equalization in F1

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1

    “I find it quite funny and interesting that the opinion is coming from individuals who have had so much success.”

  8. Now IndyCar’s champion, Will Power’s mindset hasn’t changed heading into 2015

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:40 PM EDT

    PowerbreakoutSTPpre AP

    He’s finally the champion, but Will Power enters 2015 still with more to prove.

  9. F1 Paddock Pass: Malaysian Grand Prix (VIDEO)

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Previews Getty Images

    NBCSN’s Will Buxton brings you the latest insight and interviews ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  10. Alonso moves to clear up testing crash conspiracy theories

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Fernando Alons Fernando Alons

    Spaniard rejects claim that he thought he was in 1995 following his accident in pre-season.

  11. MotorSportsTalk’s Predictions: Malaysian GP

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia - Previews Getty Images

    Luke Smith and Tony DiZinno give their verdict on this weekend’s Malaysian GP as Fernando returns, Manor hopes to fire up, and Red Bull prepares to declare war on Renault.

  12. 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-MAS-F1 Getty Images

    Formula 1 heads to Malaysia for the second round of the 2015 season, but will Lewis Hamilton be able to double up and maintain his winning streak?

  13. IndyCar 2015 team preview: Dale Coyne Racing

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    IndyCar Detroit Auto Racing AP

    Coyne heads into the season with two lesser experienced drivers, but looks to play spoiler.

  14. Can IndyCar’s next generation take it to the established veterans?

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Photo: INDYCAR Photo: INDYCAR

    IndyCar has a wave of younger talent in the series, who need to start winning sooner rather than later.

  15. Alonso and Bottas cleared by FIA to race in Malaysia

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:00 AM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix Getty Images

    Both drivers failed to race in Australia due to injury, but will return this weekend.

  16. Adrian Sutil joins Williams as reserve driver

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:38 AM EDT

    AUTO-PRIX-BRA-F1-PRESSER-SUTIL Getty Images

    Ex-Force India and Sauber man moves to Williams for 2015.

  17. Fernando Alonso talks return in Malaysian GP

    Mar 25, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    F1 Testing In Barcelona - Day Three Getty Images

    Fernando Alonso will start his 2015 F1 season in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

  18. Nowhere to go but up for Lotus at Malaysia GP

    Mar 25, 2015, 3:57 PM EDT

    Australian F1 Grand Prix Getty Images

    After both of its cars failed to finish a lap in the season opener, Lotus looks toward the Malaysian Grand Prix.