Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus spent most of the morning in the pits thanks to a gearbox problem. A couple of soft-tyre runs towards the end of the afternoon nevertheless lifted him to fifth.
TODAY'S TIMES Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m20.130s 131 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m20.494s + 0.364s 120 3. Jenson Button McLaren 1m21.444s + 1.314s 122 4. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m21.541s + 1.411s 118 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m21.658s + 1.528s 50 6. Paul di Resta Force India 1m21.664s + 1.534s 112 7. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m22.415s + 2.285s 42 8. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m22.514s + 2.384s 100 9. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m22.524s + 2.394s 31 10. Charles Pic Caterham 1m23.115s + 2.985s 116 11. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m23.167s + 3.037s 62 12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.628s + 3.498s 91 13. Max Chilton Marussia 1m24.103s + 3.973s 49
KR: “The few times that problems have cost us many hours, it’s always been the same thing. And we don’t expect it to happen when it’s warmer. When you have these problems, you can never be 100 per cent that it won’t happen again. But we had some problems in testing last year and then found the racing was OK. I think it will be the same story again.”
Lotus technical director James Allison said that despite the loss of track time, Raikkonen’s afternoon, which revolved around a number of four to seven lap stints on medium and soft tyres, had given the team reason to be optimistic for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
“Today was something like this entire test in microcosm; we spent too much of the day in the garage, but when we did get out on track we made good progress.
“A definite positive is that we are not finding it difficult to be on the pace, and we haven’t had to resort to low-fuel runs at any of the tests to get a good time out of the car.”