The big news of the final day was the accident involving Fernando Alonso’s McLaren at Turn 3 prior to the end of the first half of the session. Alonso was sent to a nearby hospital for an MRI and placed on a day’s observation list.
Back to the track action, Grosjean completed 111 laps over the course of a program of set-up evaluations and performance simulations. The Frenchman’s best lap time was two and half tenths clear of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg. “It was great to get behind the wheel of the E23 once more. Conditions were pretty tricky with quite a bit of wind, especially early on, but the car ran well, meaning we could complete the tests we wanted to. Over the course of the day, the car felt a lot better after we made changes for the second half,” Grosjean commented. “We completed a very promising mileage and it’s always good to see your name at the top of the timing monitors, even if it is far too early to know what everyone else is doing.”
Over to the Reigning Champions, Rosberg cruised the F1 W06 Hybrid to a second quickest time. The German did setup analysis work and practice starts for the final day’s program. Both Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton completed a total of 444 laps over the four-day session. Mercedes now heads back to its headquarters to prepare for the final pre-season test at this very track in less than a week’s time.
RBR (Red Bull Racing) driver Daniil Kvyat managed to top Sauber driver Felipe Nasr by just a hundredth of a second for third fastest. After focusing on long runs on the third day, Kvyat performed some aero. mapping work and car set-up in the first half. After the break, the young Russian conducted short runs and came up third quickest on the time sheets.
Despite mechanical issues in the first half, Nasr was able to recover in the second half to churn in the fourth quickest lap time. The team’s shortened program zoomed in on set-up work, tyre comparisons and long runs., with Nasr finishing the day’s program on a total of 73 laps.
Williams pilot Valtteri Bottas completed the day’s session fifth quickest, despite several interruptions. According to the Finn, the new car, the FW37, remains reliable but still has a long way to go to reach its prime status. Both Bottas and team mate Felipe Massa are ready for the final pre-season trials and the season opener in Melbourne in mid-March.
Ferrari put Sebastien Vettel on long runs to test the car’s reliability. Vettel, who finished just below Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr, also did some work on car setup and tyre configurations. Nico Hulkenberg, who’s three tenths down on Vettel on the timesheets, was excited to return to the cockpit of the Force India car. Although a power unit problem cut short his session, the German still managed to accumulate the necessary mileage and track time. Force India is slated to break out the new car for next week’s final pre-season test.
Formula One’s third and final pre-season test is set for 26 – 29 February at the Catalan track.
2015 Formula One pre-season test, Day 4, fastest times
1. R. Grosjean Lotus 1:24.067
2. N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.321
3. D. Kvyat RBR 1:24.941
4. F. Nasr Sauber 1:24.956
5. V. Bottas Williams 1:25.345
6. C. Sainz Toro Rosso 1:25.604
7. S. Vettel Ferrari 1:26.312
8. N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.591
9. F. Alonso McLaren 1:27.956
Day three fastest times
1. P. Maldonado Lotus 1:24.348
2. M. Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:24.739
3. L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.076
4. M. Ericsson Sauber 1:26.340
5. S. Vettel Ferrari 1:26.407
6. D. Kvyat RBR 1:26.589
7. F. Massa Williams 1:26.912
8. P. Wehrlein Force India 1:27.333
9. V. Bottas Williams 1:27.556
10. J. Button McLaren 1:29.151