Day 4 test: the teams go for Pirelli’s, first problems for Mercedes

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The fourth day of tests at the Catalan circuit of Montmelo was scheduled to take place in wet conditions. To do this, Pirelli was ordered to water the track with trucks at night and, again, first thing in the morning to be able to start the analysis of the new intermediate tyres and rain built to comply with the new regulation.

But one of the teams could not take part in the same, because the accident of Lance Stroll on Wednesday afternoon led to the chassis of the Williams FW40 became corrupted.

In any case, was not excessive activity of the teams under the wet asphalt, seeming more interested in working on dry to continue with the initial evolution of the new single-seater. Perhaps as a result of this, Pirelli has decided not to re-water the track once it dries, so that the equipment could roll normally until the lunch break, returning to the plan of wet-weather tyres in the afternoon.

The first hour and a half was used by Max Verstappen, Nico Hülkenberg, Kimi Räikkönen and Stoffel Vandoorne, among others, roll with the rain tires, going to the intermediate little before 11 in the morning. Under these conditions, the Dutch Red Bull set a best time of 1:29.867, while the track allowed to go down the timesheets as the sun exerted its effect on the asphalt.

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dry Tires less than three hours after

Kimi Räikkönen was the first driver to put the slick tires -specifically the soft compound – at 11.50 in the morning, so starting the usual process of test on dry. Drivers Daniil Kvyat (with engine problems), Lewis Hamilton (electrical failure that prevented him from rolling all morning) and Sergio Perez (only six laps completed) were, therefore, without picking up valuable information about the behavior of the wet tyres.

Räikkönen beat the time of Verstappen with intermediate already in his third lap with slicks, establishing a best start time of 1:27.939, which in the next turn happened to be two seconds faster, making it clear that the track was suitable to use the compounds of dry.

The last half hour of the morning session, however, was something more intense, with riders such as Stoffel Vandoorne rolling in different conditions without apparent problems and with the Valtteri Bottas taking the helm of the Mercedes W08 in advance after the decision of the team that did not deserve the penalty that Hamilton rolled for only 10 minutes then having to change all the parameters of the car, to adapt it to the needs of your partner.

Position Pilot Time Tire Turns
1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:22.305 Soft 45
2nd Romain Grosjean Haas 1:22.739 Superblando 49
2nd Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:23.918 Superblando 35
3rd Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:23.920 43
4th Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.893 Soft 25
5th Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:24.974 Soft 51
6th Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber 1:25.037 Soft 37
7th Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:36.512 Soft 9
8th Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
9th Felipe Massa Williams
10th Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1
11th Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault