On the second last day of pre-season testing before lights go out for the 2017 Formula 1 Season at the Australian Grand Prix in just over two weeks, Sebastian Vettel topped the time sheets for Ferrari. Vettel set a best lap time of a 1:19.024 on the ultrasoft tyre, a lap that marked the fastest lap completed in testing so far by any team. Over the course of the day, Vettel also completed a very impressive 156 laps – the second highest mileage of the teams in testing on day three.
Following Vettel in second place was Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes, with the championship hopeful being 0.328 seconds slower than first place after setting a 1:19.352 on the ultrasoft tyre. Hamilton again shared testing duties with his team mate, Valtteri Bottas, over the course of the day. Bottas ended the session in eighth place after setting a 1:21.819 on the soft tyre. Between the two drivers, Mercedes managed to complete a total of 147 laps.
Esteban Ocon finished the session in third place for Force India, completing 137 laps and setting a best time of a 1:20.161 on the ultrasoft tyre.
Following Ocon was Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso, who experienced continuing problems with reliability. Nevertheless, Kvyat completed 94 laps and set a best time of a 1:20.416 on the supersoft tyre.
Closely following Kvyat was Kevin Magnussen for the Haas F1 Team, with Magnussen being only 0.088 seconds slower than the young Russian with a 1:20.504 on the faster ultrasoft tyre. Magnussen completed 119 laps over the course of the day.
Daniel Ricciardo ended the day in sixth place for Red Bull Racing, completing 128 laps in total over the day. Ricciardo also set a time of a 1:20.824 on the soft compound tyre.
Stoffel Vandoorne was seventh fastest in what was yet another difficult day for McLaren. Despite setting the team’s best lap time of testing so far with a 1:21.348 on the ultrasoft tyre, McLaren are still struggling in terms of reliability, breaking down in the morning session. Unlike other problems that McLaren have experienced over the last two weeks, Vandoorne was once again able to return out on track after the car had been returned to the pits, only to bring out the red flag once again by breaking down. Over the course of the day McLaren only completed 48 laps – two shy of 50, being the only team unable to complete more than 50 laps for the second day in succession. With only one day of testing to go before the season opening Australian Grand Prix, McLaren are not in a good position, with Fernando Alonso saying to the media that their Honda power unit has ‘no power and no reliability‘.
Following Valtteri Bottas in eighth place was Pascal Wehrlein in ninth, setting a 1:22.402 on the soft compound tyre for Sauber, completing 44 laps. Wehrlein shared testing duties with his team mate, Marcus Ericsson over the course of the day. Ericsson ended the session in 11th place, setting a 1:23.330 on the softs and completing 88 laps.
Jolyon Palmer followed Wehrlein in tenth place for Renault, who like McLaren and Toro Rosso, have also faced reliability issues. Palmer set a lap time of a 1:22.418 on the soft tyre and managed to complete 53 laps.
At the bottom of the time sheets were the two Williams drivers of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll in 12th and 13th. Massa set a time of a 1:24.443 on the medium tyre which placed him higher than Stroll, with the young Canadian F1 rookie setting a 1:24.863 on the softs. Despite setting the slowest laps of the day, Williams did complete 165 laps between the two drivers – the highest lap count of any other team on the third day of the second pre-season test.
Results from Day 3 of Second Pre-Season Test:
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:19.024 – ultrasofts (156 laps)
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:19.352 – ultrasofts (52 laps)
- Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:20.161 – ultrasofts (137 laps)
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:20.416 – supersofts (94 laps)
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:20.504 – ultrasofts (119 laps)
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:20.824 – softs (128 laps)
- Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:21.348 – ultrasofts (48 laps)
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:21.819 – softs (95 laps)
- Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:22.402 – softs (44 laps)
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:22.418 – softs (53 laps)
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:23.330 – softs (88 laps)
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:24.443 – mediums (80 laps)
- Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:24.863 – softs (85 laps)