Barcelona F1 test: Force India's Hulkenberg on top, Ferrari delayed

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg led the way on the third morning of pre-season Formula 1 testing, as Ferrari endured a frustrating start to Wednesday's running

Barcelona F1 test: Force India's Hulkenberg on top, Ferrari delayed

Kimi Raikkonen took over the Ferrari SF16-H after Sebastian Vettel topped two near-faultless days at Barcelona, but only managed four laps and did not record a time due to fuel system checks.

On Pirelli's medium tyre, Hulkenberg led the way at the lunchbreak with a time of 1m25.266s, a day after team-mate Sergio Perez declared the 2016 Force India had "big potential".

Hulkenberg's time was nearly three quarters of a second quicker than Kevin Magnussen on his debut for Renault, albeit with the Dane on soft rubber.

Team-mate Jolyon Palmer had two frustrating days at the wheel of the RS16, suffering software issues on Monday and a turbo failure on Tuesday, managing only 79 laps in total.

By comparison, Magnussen enjoyed a trouble-free morning and by lunchtime had already clocked up 63 laps.

Back in the Mercedes after completing a mammoth 172 laps on Tuesday, Nico Rosberg added 74 more to the W07's tally, finishing just under eight tenths of a second behind Hulkenberg, also on the medium tyre.

Lewis Hamilton is scheduled to run in the afternoon following a change of schedule for the Mercedes drivers.

After causing one of two red flags due to his right-rear wheel not being attached, which forced him to stop in the pit exit, Carlos Sainz was fourth quickest, almost one second off the pace.

Rio Haryanto's spin on his F1 debut led to the second stoppage half an hour before lunch.

The Indonesian was the slowest of the 10 drivers who set a time, finishing 4.522s off the pace on medium rubber after 25 laps in the Manor.

From fifth to ninth, the drivers' best times were also done on mediums, with Daniil Kvyat fifth quickest after taking over the Red Bull from Daniel Ricciardo, the Russian posting a 1m26.497s.

On his first day behind the wheel of the new Williams, Felipe Massa managed 57 laps and a best time of 1m26.712s.

In last year's Sauber, Felipe Nasr was eighth, followed by Jenson Button in his McLaren as the veteran added another 45 laps to the Honda engine's reliability so far, and finishing 1.633s down.

Romain Grosjean produced another solid morning of running for Haas with a 54-lap total, with his best 1.669s behind Hulkenberg.

DAY THREE MORNING TIMES:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m25.286ss 1m25.286s 37
2 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m26.014ss 0.728s 63
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.084ss 0.798s 74
4 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m26.239ss 0.953s 66
5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1m26.497ss 1.211s 29
6 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m26.712ss 1.426s 57
7 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m26.840ss 1.554s 61
8 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m26.919ss 1.633s 45
9 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m26.955ss 1.669s 54
10 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m29.808ss 4.522s 25
- Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari - - 4

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