Jolyon Palmer topped the time sheets on the final day of testing in Barcelona after late run on the Pirelli supersoft tyres which saw the Lotus driver end the day quickest of all
The GP2 Series champion set 1:26.080 in the final hour to eclipse Mercedes’ Pascal Wehrlein who had topped the timing screens for most of the day.
Palmer notched up 87 laps for Lotus, and impressing the F1 paddock with his pace and performance in the process.
The bullet-proof Mercedes W06 was on displayed again as Wehrlein, who was still feeling ill, completed 137 laps. However, his best time of 1:26.497 was over two seconds slower than the pace set by Nico Rosberg 24 hours earlier.
Wehrlein declared at the end of the day, “The Mercedes Power Unit is unbelievable and the chassis too, with a very good balance. I could feel it has changed a bit since I last drove it during winter testing.”
“The team has clearly been working hard and developing it even further. It’s definitely a step forward and I’ve loved every minute of being behind the wheel!” he added.
After a day in the Toro Rosso cockpit Pierre Gasly completed 75 laps in the Red Bull and finished third quickest, ahead of Jenson Button managed 100 laps in the McLaren and ending the day fastest of the regular drivers.
Button’s day included testing for the upcoming races with low-speed work carried out for Monaco and a low-downforce rear wing experimented with ahead of Canada.
Making his debut for Williams, Alex Lynn was just fractionally slower than the McLaren driver, ending fifth with 52 laps completed, ending another day of limited running for the Grove outfit after Felipe Massa’s 54 laps a day earlier.
Mercedes’ new signing Esteban Ocon was sixth at the wheel of the Force, ahead of former Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez who made his debut for Ferrari and completed 119 laps.
Carlos Sainz was another driver to complete over 100 laps and was seventh fastest for Toro Rosso.
Sauber’s Raffaele Marciello slowest of all nine drivers in action on the final day. He completed 75 laps, after recovering from a trip into the gravel in Turn 3 which prompted a red flag.