Sebastian Vettel smashes track record set by Daniel Ricciardo

  • Sebastian Vettel smashes track record set by Daniel Ricciardo

Sebastian Vettel smashes track record set by Daniel Ricciardo

The four-time world champion broke the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya track record with a 1:17.182s on the new Pirelli hypersoft tyre.

The German, runner-up last season to Britain's Lewis Hamilton, now hands over to team mate Kimi Raikkonen for the final day.

By the end of the day, Seb had completed no fewer than 188 laps (equivalent to over 875 kilometres, ) in all conditions, including a false start test, with other cars on track. The season begins with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 25. "But, I definitely feel that we're moving in a positive direction".

The lap followed two ultrasoft runs by Ferrari, with Vettel clocking 1m17.913s initially, before reducing the time by 0.3s on the second run.

"I'm pretty happy with the laps I had with the feeling I got for the auto, which as I said improved", Vettel added.

"Well we still need to work on the performance and feeling", he said. Today I used the Ultrasoft and the Hypersoft for the first time - and the vehicle always feels good when you have more grip - so we covered more or less all of the tyre compounds and I think we will have plenty of data to analyse now.

It is hard to read into headline times at pre-season testing given there are too many unknown variables, such as fuel loads, however the more laps teams can do, the better they can understand their new cars ahead of the new season. We got a smooth run, no vehicle issues, no red flags, so we could get through.

That meant Toro Rosso vaulted above the Renault pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr within the final 30 minutes of the session.

Sergio Perez completed 173 laps for Force India, finishing 11th and slowest of the drivers to set their fastest time on the hypersoft tyre. "Last year's auto was great but this vehicle feels better". "We need to analyse where we are tonight and come back tomorrow to have an even better day".

McLaren put two days of troubled running behind them with a solid 151 laps for Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, who was sixth on the timesheets. We did almost 200 laps so that was good! "It's the wrong conclusion to look at the timesheet; there's a lot more than one lap".

"This afternoon we completed a full race distance, which went smoothly and was good to get under our belt, to get a feel for the auto in race conditions, and go through the different tyre variations".

"Today was very productive and it gives us the confidence to go to Melbourne with a strong package". "But I am enjoying driving the auto".

Vettel completed a race simulation and was satisfied with the way that had gone.