Felipe Massa was fastest for Williams on the opening day of the final pre-season test in Barcelona, as McLaren encountered more problems with its new Honda-powered car.
Massa dominated the timesheets with a lap of 1:23.500 – the best any driver has clocked around the Circuit de Catalunya during testing – set on a soft tyre run in the early afternoon.
The Williams racer ended the day with 101 laps on the board and seven tenths of a second clear of closest rival Marcus Ericsson.
The Sauber racer completed 120 laps on route to second fastest, jumping up the leaderboard with a series of late laps on the super-soft tyre.
Lewis Hamilton topped the morning session with a 1:24.881 on the medium Pirellis, but was ultimately limited to just 48 laps on Thursday after Mercedes suffered a MGU-K failure in the afternoon which cut short the team’s test programme.
Daniil Kvyat ended the day fourth fastest, and managed to rack up 73 laps in the Renault-powered Red Bull despite causing the first of two red flags with an early stoppage at the end of the pitlane.
Romain Grosjean was fifth for Lotus, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who completed 78 laps in the Ferrari SF15-T.
Carlos Sainz caused a second red flag in the afternoon following a stoppage at Turn 10, while Jenson Button propped up the timesheets for McLaren.
The 2009 champion managed just seven laps in the morning before the Honda-powered MP4-30 experienced a hydraulics leak, which required an engine change to fix, prompting a premature end to the team’s day.
Force India sat out the opening day of the final test ahead of the debut of its new 2015 car on Friday.
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Williams F1 Team