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2017 Pre-Season Test Day 3: Mercedes On Top While Ferrari Impresses

It was another good day for the Mercedes Formula One team on day three of the first pre-season test of 2017.

Valtteri Bottas, for the Silver Arrows, set the fastest time of the day of 1:19.705 on Pirelli’s Ultra Soft Tyres. The time seemed impressive until Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari put in the second fastest time of the day crossing the line in 1:19.952 just 0.247s slower than Bottas on the yellow-marked soft compound tyres which are two shades harder than the ultra soft.

“Braking is better, cornering is better, you’ve got more grip,” said Vettel at the end of the day.

“Then in low-speed corners when arguably the downforce effect is less big, you have more grip from the tyres.”

Vettel said that the 2017 cars fix everything. He wouldn’t make any predictions regarding the running order saying that it’s too early to tell at this stage. Although Ferrari were able to get some solid running during the past three days he does feel that they could have done more and says that Ferrari have a lot of work ahead of them.


“It feels better than last year but I think everyone is saying that,” added Vettel summing up his feelings on the 2017 cars.

“When you can go faster as a driver it’s always nice to be able to push harder.

“I didn’t pay much attention to what the others are doing.

“Everybody is looking at one lap time but it’s much more important what happens throughout the day and that’s difficult to read.”

Daniel Ricciardo was able to get the 3rd fastest time of the day and added 70 laps to his name for the day. 4th Fastest for the day was Renault’s Jolyon Palmer who set his time in the morning session which stood for the rest of the day. His team mate, Nico Hulkenberg, took over in the afternoon session and finished 5th fastest a few tenths off Palmer’s time.

Sauber had another good day of running clocking up 130 laps with Marcus Ericsson at the wheel of the C36. He managed to finish 6th fastest ahead of Lewis Hamilton who took over from Bottas in the afternoon session. Hamilton’s program mostly consisted of long runs racking up and impressive 95-laps for just the afternoon session.

On his first taste of 2017 machinery Romain Grosjean was at the seat of the Haas VF-17 for the day. His fastest time on the day of 1:22.118 earned him 8th fastest on the day. The Frenchman had a reasonable day of running and had a total lap tally of 56-laps by the close of the day.

After crashing in the second day of testing, Canadian rookie Lance Stroll was at the wheel of the Williams Fw40 again today. Stroll enjoyed some good running adding 95-laps to his count but a crash at the exit of Turn 5 ended his day before lunch. The front end of the Williams was badly damaged and the team had no choice but to end the day early once again. This is two crashes for the rookie in as many days.


Fernando Alonso had a good day for McLaren in the MCL32 putting in a decent number of laps for the day after two days of engine troubles.

Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat were at the wheel of the STR12 for Toro Rosso. The finished the day 11th and 13 fastest with a total lap tally of 63 laps.

Force India’s development driver Alfonso Celis ended his day 12th fastest with 71 laps to his name.


“It was a busy day in which we managed to complete nearly everything in our plan,” said Celis.

“These cars are completely different and I enjoyed my first experience of the new regulations – you can really feel the step up in performance. It took me a bit of time to get used to the car and the conditions, and the track had very low grip early on.

“I did a lot of aero passes in the morning and then we focussed on understanding the tyres in the afternoon. The most important objective of the day was to give the team as much data as possible so these 71 laps will hopefully be very useful for better understanding this car.”


About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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