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F1 2016: Pre-season Test 1 Day 3 – Hulkenberg On Top

Nico Hulkenberg Abu Dhabi GP race weekend Preview Quotes

The third day of testing at Spain’s circuit de Catalunya was headed by Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.

The morning running was marked with the introduction to Formula 1 of Indonesia’s first ever grand prix driver Rio Haryanto. The rookie Manor driver seemed comfortable in the early running and put together a solid first few stints. A slight error later on in the morning saw the Manor end up in the gravel trap of turn 5 which prompted the second red flag of the morning.

The first red flag of the day was prompted by the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz as the Spaniard was forced to stop at the exit of the pitlane with a loose rear wheel. The morning was a complete write-off for Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen as the team struggled to get on top of a fuel pick-up issue. The Finnish driver was only able to complete three installation laps before lunch.

Meanwhile, Nico Rosberg continued with Mercedes’ run programme by putting together several race simulation runs in the morning. As lunch rolled around it was Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India heading the timing sheet with a 1:25.286. The German would later improve his time to a 1:23.110.

The session after lunch saw the two Mercedes drivers swop around with Lewis Hamilton taking over testing duties for the remainder of the day. Kimi Raikkonen was able to put Ferrari on the board after lunch and the Finn completed xx laps for the day. Felipe Massa was the first driver to reach 100 laps on day three of the first pre-season test in the Williams whilst Carlos Sainz also put more than 100 laps on the board in his Toro Rosso.

Late on in the day’s running Renault driver Kevin Magnussen brought out the red flag as his car stopped on the start/finish strait. It proved a minor blip on the radar as proceedings got underway within minutes. Haryanto was first out on track in the Manor Mercedes on the medium compound tyres. By this stage no driver had opted to strap on the ultrasoft compound.

McLaren called an end to their day’s running thirty minutes before the close of the session. Jenson Button’s car, which completed only 51 laps, suffered an hydraulic leak.Williams too brought an early end to proceedings after discovering an oil leak of Felipe Massa’s car.

Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz ended the day with 161 laps on the board while Hulkenberg in the Force India heads Romain Grosjean, in the Haas, at the top of the leaderboard.

POS Driver Team/Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes VJM09 1:23.110 99
2 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari VF-16 1:25.874 +2.764 82
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari SF16-H 1:25.977 +2.867 78
4 Kevin Magnussen Renault R.S.16 1:26.014 +2.904 111
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid 1:26.084 +2.974 74
6 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR11 1:26.239 +3.129 161
7 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari C34 1:26.392 +3.282 115
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid 1:26.421 +3.311 88
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer RB12 1:26.497 +3.387 74
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes FW38 1:26.712 +3.602 109
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 1:26.919 +3.809 51
12 Rio Haryanto Manor Racing-Mercedes MRT05 1:28.249 +5.139 78


About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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