Vettel ensures Ferrari ends testing on top

© XPB 

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time on the final day of pre-season testing to ensure Ferrari topped the times for five of the eight days.

The German was quickest in the morning session on the supersoft tyre, ending up 0.1s shy of the fastest time set over the two tests. Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen holds that accolade for his lap on Thursday, though the Finn was running the ultrasoft tyre - predicted by Pirelli to be worth roughly 0.6s per lap - to do so.

While the majority of the headline times have been set by Ferrari, it has been Mercedes' reliability and pace on the soft tyre which has caught the eye throughout the two tests. While Lewis Hamilton was only fifth quickest on the final day and Nico Rosberg slowest of the runners, the pair completed 139 laps throughout the day , though for once Vettel could boast more mileage in a day having managed 142.

Second fastest on the final day was Carlos Sainz in the impressive Toro Rosso. The STR11 again looks strong in high speed corners, and the addition of the Ferrari power unit - albeit the 2015 specification - has also provided a step forward. Sainz ran the ultrasoft tyre in the morning session to end up less than 0.3s off Vettel, and again racked up comfortably more than 100 laps.

Having been buoyed by Thursday's running, Felipe Massa had another encouraging day for Williams as he completed 129 laps and posted the third fastest time. Massa was one of few drivers to improve in the afternoon session with a supersoft tyre run.

Sergio Perez was fourth but brought out the red flags in the afternoon session after stopping in the final sector with a little over two hours still to run. The problem proved to be a terminal one, with Force India's test finishing early.

Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed another solid day for Red Bull as he exceeded 120 laps and set the sixth fastest time, with his best lap coming on soft tyres and leaving him 1.5s slower than Vettel's best. McLaren had a similarly strong end to the test, with 121 laps for Jenson Button and some ultrasoft running late on failing to see an improvement on his morning effort on softs.

Jolyon Palmer's misfortune continued as the British rookie failed to reach the 100-lap mark in any of his four days in the car, compared to team-mate Kevin Magnussen never failing to exceed three figures. Palmer completed just 31 laps in the morning session - which left him describing his pre-season as "a little bit disastrous" - but did take that tally up to 90 by the end of the day.

There was an impressive recovery from both Haas after recent reliability issues. Haas split its running between Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, with the pair amassing 91 laps between them despite a long delay to change drivers. The two team-mates were just 0.1s apart at the end of the day.

Manor also had to make up for time lost in the morning session but was impressive in getting Rio Haryanto out for 57 further laps in the afternoon having completed a single installation lap on the stroke of lunch. Haryanto's best time on ultrasoft tyres left him almost a second slower than team-mate Pascal Wehrlein's best of pre-season.

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GALLERY: Pre-season testing

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Pos Driver Team Time Laps Tyre
1 Vettel Ferrari  1:22.852 142 SS
2 Sainz Toro Rosso  1:23.134 133 US
3 Massa Williams  1:23.644 129 SS
4 Pérez Force India  1:23.721 60 SS
5 Hamilton Mercedes  1:24.133 69 M
6 Ricciardo Red Bull  1:24.427 123 S
7 Button McLaren  1:24.714 121 SS
8 Palmer Renault Sport  1:24.859 90 SS
9 Ericsson Sauber  1:25.031 132 S
10 Grosjean Haas  1:25.255 66 S
11 Gutiérrez Haas  1:25.422 25 SS
12 Haryanto Manor  1:25.899 58 US
13 Rosberg Mercedes  1:26.140 70 M