The first day of the post-season test in Abu Dhabi is in the books with Kimi Raikkonen topping the timesheets and Robert Kubica among the drivers to rack up 100 laps at the Yas Marina circuit.
Raikkonen set a best time of 1:37.768 on the new hypersoft tyres – two steps softer than the 2017 ultrasofts – but it was over a second shy of Valtteri Bottas track record in Q3 on Sunday with the Ferrari man having plenty of fuel on board.
Daniel Ricciardo narrowed the gap to within three tenths after the lunch break, completing 109 laps in the process. World Champion Lewis Hamilton improved to P3 as part of a mammoth 136-lap run.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean, the lap-count leader with 137, finished 1.5 seconds off the pace in P4 and Lance Stroll took P5 in the Williams after taking over duties from Kubica in the final couple of hours.
Kubica, who ended the day ninth quickest, stayed on the soft tyre throughout the day and also reached the 100-lap mark via a mixture of short and long runs.
The Pole and Williams were both happy with the day’s work and he will return to the car on Wednesday for what is believed to be a shorter two-hour stint on quicker tyres.
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso’s running was disrupted by a crash into the tyre barrier but he made up for lost time by accumulating 115 laps with a best time of 1:39.762, good enough for P6.
McLaren were able to run two cars given that their test in Brazil was cancelled, so reserve driver Oliver Turvey collected another 105 laps’ worth of data and propped up the timesheet in P12.
Nico Hulkenberg came back to the garage in P7, with development drivers Nikita Mazepin (Force India) and Sean Gelael (Toro Rosso) – the latter causing a late red flag because of a minor crash – completing the top 10 alongside Kubica.
Marcus Ericsson, who has seemingly survived the chop at Sauber, was P11.
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’37″768 99 laps
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’38″066 00″298 109
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’38″551 00″783 136
4 Romain Grosjean Haas 1’39″270 01″502 137
5 Lance Stroll Williams 1’39″580 01″812 29
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1’39″762 01″994 115
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’39″803 02″035 85
8 Nikita Mazepin Force India 1’39″959 02″191 90
9 Robert Kubica Williams 1’41″296 03″528 100
10 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso 1’41″428 03″660 117
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1’41″681 03″913 97
12 Oliver Turvey McLaren 1’41″914 04″146 105