Sauber fastest on day three in Jerez

After Sebastian Vettel topped the first two days of pre-season testing, there was a different name at the top of the times on day three as Felipe Nasr put Sauber fastest.

Nasr was joined on track by Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Carlos Sainz Jr, Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso as teams continued with their programmes in Jerez. It was a damp start to the day as drivers took to the track for installation laps. The Lotus was delayed out by a telemetry issue. Lotus started a day later to everyone else due to waiting for parts of their car to be delivered and Maldonado – who managed a lap time yesterday just five seconds off the pace.

Red Bull had Ricciardo in the car after Daniil Kvyat’s stint yesterday when he was forced to complete many one lap runs due to damaging the team’s one and only front wing. It was another day of limited running for the team, however, due to an engine change. Elsewhere it was a much more positive day for McLaren-Honda with Alonso logging 32 miles. Their day was eventually brought to a premature halt due to a loss of cooling water pressure which meant they had to remove the engine. The sounds coming from the team were positive and that it was a problem that could be seen to before Jenson Button’s final day of running tomorrow.

Of course pre-season testing is where teams will want to encounter these sorts of problems so they can work on fixing them prior to the first race. World champions Mercedes had their own issues, after Lewis Hamilton’s car suffered a water leak yesterday. The car suffered an engine shutdown today with Rosberg behind the wheel, but it was something the team could fix and they were able to send their driver out again. He once again more laps than anyone else, with 151 to add to his impressive day one tally. There were three red flags during the day – one caused by Rosberg’s stoppage – with Nasr having a spin out on track and the Lotus coming to a halt.

Up at the front it was Nasr who led the way for Sauber, with Raikkonen continuing Ferrari’s positive start in second place:

  1. Felipe Nasr – 1:21.545 – 109 laps
  2. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:21.750 – 93 laps
  3. Nico Rosberg – 1:21.982 – 151 laps
  4. Felipe Massa – 1:22.276 – 71 laps
  5. Pastor Maldonado – 1:22.713 – 96 laps
  6. Carlos Sainz Jr – 1:23.187 – 137 laps
  7. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:23.901 – 48 laps
  8. Fernando Alonso – 1:35.553 – 32 laps

The first pre-season test concludes tomorrow.

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