The morning session of the fourth pre-season test day saw Kimi Raikkonen top the timing sheet during the wet weather session, however Romain Grosjean’s Haas followed closely behind.
This morning saw trucks spray gallons of water across the sun-soaked Circuit de Catalunya in order for the teams to begin wet weather testing. Williams already ruled themselves out of day 4 running after Lance Stroll’s accident in yesterday afternoons session.
In the wet conditions, Max Verstappen, who produced one of the finest ever wet weather drives at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix, set the early pace on the slippery track setting a 1:40.357. Kimi Raikkonen was a further 4 tenths behind the Red Bull driver while McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was third fastest.
Mercedes designated Lewis Hamilton as their morning driver but electrical problems put an end to his day. On the slippery drying track and intermediate tyres fitted, Verstappen was yet again the pace setter in tricky conditions and posted a 1:29.867, two seconds up on Raikkonen. Verstappen will likely be praying for a lot of rainy races during the calendar year.
With an hour left of the morning session, the track was bone dry and Mercedes eventually joined in on the late flurry of cars eager to set the fastest time. Valtteri Bottas was sent out but with only 9 laps on the board, he only managed a 1:36.512 on soft tyres. Virtually everyone had gone on the super-softs and it was Raikkonen who took advantage, setting the quickest time of the day thus far.
Stoffel Vandoorne showed consistency in his McLaren. The rookie was third fastest in the early stages of the wet session and posted the third fastest time in the dry, overtaking Verstappen. A well-needed result for the McLaren team given their woes earlier on in the week. Busiest on track this morning was new Renault signing Nico Hulkenberg who completed 51 laps.
The track is currently undergoing another soakage in preparation for the afternoon session.