Mercedes Completes Barcelona Test On Top
BARCELONA, Spain – Mercedes again led the way in Barcelona on Sunday, as the final winter test drew to a close at the Circuit de Catalunya.
With the cars next due on track in first practice for the season-opening Grand Prix in Australia in two weeks’ time, Nico Rosberg was the man on top.
Rosberg’s closest rivals were Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Jenson Button, with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg, Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen and Force India’s Paul di Resta completing the top six.
The German’s best lap came during the morning session on soft tyres as he traded fastest times with Alonso, before Mercedes – and almost all other teams – switched their focus to longer runs in the afternoon.
Button, Hulkenberg and Di Resta all had productive days, completing 122, 118 and 112 laps respectively, but there were further woes for Raikkonen, returning to the Lotus E21 cockpit after missing Saturday due to illness. A gearbox problem confined the Finn to the garage for much of the morning, restricting his ultimate mileage to 50 laps.
Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo found himself sandwiched between the two Marussia drivers in the times as he finished 12th, with the Italian team admitting they have had their work cut out over winter testing this year.