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Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2017

McLaren endured further woes as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the quickest lap of Formula One testing so far on the final day of pre-season action in Barcelona, Spain, on Friday.

After his team-mate Sebastian Vettel set the benchmark with a lap of one minute, 19.024 seconds on Thursday, the Finn broke the 1:19 barrier for the first time as he registered a blistering 1:18.634.

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso drew a red flag twice on Friday morning as his McLaren drew to a halt on the track, continuing a terrible eight days of testing for the Spaniard and his team.

Here is what the timesheet looked like after the morning’s proceedings at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, per the FIA:


 

Morning Session

Ferrari have looked impressive throughout testing, and there were suspicions on Thursday that Vettel could have posted a faster lap and was hiding the true pace of his car, per Autosport Live:


On Friday, Raikkonen continued Ferrari’s good form and hinted at there being some genuine competition for Mercedes this year when the first race of the season gets underway in Melbourne, Australia on March 26.

Not only did the 2007 world champion don the supersoft tyres to go lowest of anyone during the eight days of pre-season action, but he also showed excellent pace on the soft compound, per Motorsport Week:


No other driver came close to Raikkonen on Friday morning, as Max Verstappen placed second in his Red Bull with a lap of 1:19.438.

Meanwhile, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz produced an excellent lap to place third, and fifth-placed Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a fine session as he set Renault’s fastest lap in testing so far with a 1:19.885.

Away from those at the top of the timesheet, it was an incident-packed session that included four stoppages for a red flag.

Romain Grosjean drew the first and last of them in his Haas, but most notably, McLaren endured more trouble.

MONTMELO, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team McLaren MCL32 on track  during day two of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on March 8, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Charles Coates/

Charles Coates/Getty Images

The morning started passably for Alonso as he briefly moved to second in the standings with an early 1:22.731.

But his car then drew to a stop on the track at Turn 9 and had to be recovered, before a repeat not even a lap after McLaren had got Alonso back on track—this time he stopped at Turn 4.

Per BBC Sport’s Andrew Benson, McLaren confirmed an electrical problem was the issue, and the situation does not look good for the British team with just a session of testing remaining. 



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