After eight days of pre-season testing so far – four in Jerez and four in Barcelona – it has come down to the final four days of preparation for the season opening Australian Grand Prix.
Jerez saw Ferrari dominate the time sheets as they went fastest on three days and Sauber – who they supply engines to – went fastest on the other day. It was Lotus who moved to the top at the first Barcelona test, as Pastor Maldonado went fastest on days one and three and Romain Grosjean set the fastest time on his one and only appearance. Daniel Ricciardo topped day two for Red Bull. Reigning champions Mercedes have completed most laps so far while McLaren have struggled with reliability issues to do with their new engine.
Here is the line-up for the third and final pre-season test:
|TEAM||DAY 1||DAY 2||DAY 3||DAY 4|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||Nico Rosberg||Lewis Hamilton||Nico Rosberg|
|Red Bull||Daniil Kvyat||Daniil Kvyat||Daniel Ricciardo||Daniel Ricciardo|
|Williams||Felipe Massa||Valtteri Bottas||Felipe Massa||Valtteri Bottas|
|Ferrari||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel|
|Force India||N/A||Nico Hulkenberg||Nico Hulkenberg||Sergio Perez|
|Toro Rosso||Carlos Sainz||Max Verstappen||Carlos Sainz||Max Verstappen|
|Lotus||Romain Grosjean||Pastor Maldonado||Romain Grosjean||Pastor Maldonado|
|Sauber||Marcus Ericsson||Felipe Nasr||Marcus Ericsson||Felipe Nasr|
Force India will finally debuted their 2015 car on track at this test although it will not be ready until Friday. Nico Hulkenberg will get two days of running in the car, with Sergio Perez finishing the test for them. Force India was at the first Barcelona test but they were using their 2014 car.
A number of test drivers got outings at the first Barcelona test but it is back to business for the teams now as they give their race drivers some crucial running ahead of the first race. The only team running a test driver at this test are McLaren, although that is out of necessity. The main talking point after Barcelona was Fernando Alonso’s crash which left him hospitalised. He has since left hospital and has gone home to rest and recuperate meaning that McLaren have called up reserve driver Kevin Magnussen to split the testing with Jenson Button. The team have not yet confirmed the running for after the first day.
The other big news this week is that Manor F1 Team are working ‘around the clock’ to be ready for the Australian Grand Prix. The team, formerly known as Marussia, went into administration last year but recently exited it. They have announced that Will Stevens will drive for them. They will not be present at the test in Barcelona, however.