ROOKIE QUICKEST AT JEREZ: Felipe Nasr tests for Sauber at the Jerez circuit in Spain Image: AP / Miguel Morenatti
JEREZ, Spain - Sauber's Felipe Nasr, one of three newcomers to Formula 1 in 2015, clocked the fastest time on Day 3 of pre-season testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain on Tuesday (Feb 5).
Another rookie, Carlos Sainz, son of double World Rally champion Carlos Sainz, completed 136 laps in wet weather. Nasr was a Williams test driver in 2014 and finished third in the GP2 series.
Ferrari, quickest for the first two days, settled for second-best with former champion Kimi Raikkonen 0.205sec slower than Nasr.
'TOP JOB TO START THE YEAR'
It was another long spell for Mercedes, too, with Nico Rosberg - 2014's F1 runner-up – third-best as he managed only slightly fewer laps than on Sunday (Feb 1) - 151 to 157.
Rosberg, who was almost half a second slower than Nasr, said: "Thank you everyone, really top job to start the year,"
Nasr spun his Sauber in the morning and the session was held up for a second time when Rosberg's engine shut down after 93 laps. Team mate Lewis Hamilton's session had been shortened by about an hour on Monday (Feb 2) because of a coolant leak but that is a minor concern for Mercedes, which finished nearly 300 points clear in the Constructors' championship in 2014.
Rosberg said: "The important thing is its relation to the other cars. At the moment we are surprised by Ferrari's times."
DAMAGED RED BULL
Red Bull's testing has been more surprising - due to the car's black-and-white camouflage paintwork - than convincing. On Monday (Feb 2) Russian driver Daniil Kvyat damaged the RB11's front wing while going off track, forcing the team to fly in a new one. Then, on Tuesday (Feb 3), Daniel Ricciardo managed only five laps before going back to the garage for an engine change.
However, Ricciardo returned to complete 35 laps overall, posting the seventh-best time behind Sainz, who is racing for Toro Rosso with Max Verstappen, another F1 newcomer.
It was a somewhat better day for McLaren, which completed only 12 laps over the first two days due to power unit troubles but the team still managed less than any other team. Fernando Alonso completed 32 before stopping.Lotus, after a terrible 2014 - only 10 points compared to 315 in 2013 - needs vast improvement. When telemetry issues were finally sorted out Pastor Maldonado got the fifth-fastest time behind Williams driver Felipe Massa.
McLaren said: "We've had a loss of cooland pressure and have removed the power unit for inspection. That's a long process."