Maldonado fastest for Lotus on day three in Barcelona

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

Pastor Maldonado set the pace again for Lotus on the third day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Maldonado, the fastest man on Thursday, topped the timesheets with a lap of 1:24.348 set on the super-soft tyres in the afternoon.

Max Verstappen headed the leaderboard for a large chunk of the day after a super-soft run in the morning, but slipped behind Maldonado in the afternoon.

The 17-year-old managed 129 laps, the most of any driver on the day, but caused a late stoppage after the STR10 ground to a halt on the run down to Turn 1.

Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes, the reigning champion’s best time on the medium tyres 1.7s adrift of Maldonado’s session topping time in the Lotus.

Marcus Ericsson spent most of the morning confined to the garage after a late gearbox issue on Friday, but ended the day fourth fastest for Sauber.

Sebastian Vettel completed a century of laps on route to fifth for Ferrari, despite an early off at Turn 4 just minutes into the day’s running.

Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat completed a full race simulation in the afternoon to end the day with a haul of 112 laps and sixth on the leaderboard.

Felipe Massa was seventh fastest for Williams, before stepping aside for his team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the afternoon.

The Finn, driving the new Williams for the first time this week at Barcelona, concentrated on pit stop practice and only set a timed lap in the dying minutes of the session.

Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein completed 81 laps in the 2014 Force India, while there were more problems for McLaren on Saturday.

Jenson Button managed just 12 laps in the MP4-30 before the team encountered a repeat of the MGU-K problem it suffered on Thursday.

The team sent the 2009 champion back out in the afternoon, and he added another 12 laps to his tally, but failed to lift the McLaren from the bottom of the timesheets.

This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Lotus F1 Team

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