Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikonnen was fastest in the seventh day of pre-season tests ahead of the 2016 Australian Grand Prix later this month. Raikkonnen lapped Circuit de Catalunya in 1:22.765 on the ultrasoft tires, putting him atop the timesheet and just ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa, who set a lap of 1:23.193 on the soft tire compound.
“It was one of our best days of testing,” Raikkonnen said post-session. “We could run without a single stop, except for the red flags on track. Maybe we could have been faster on some laps, but in general the feeling was fine and we are more or less happy with the way things are going. Of course there’s always room to improve and work to do. Like I said many times, I don’t like guessing so there’s no point in figuring out where we’ll be in Melbourne. We will try our best as always.”
One of the more interesting takeaways from the day was Raikkonnen’s test of the ‘halo’ cockpit protection system. Developed by a Mercedes-Benz engineer following the death of IndyCar driver Justin Wilson, the ‘halo’ is intended to protect a drivers head against debris that may break loose from other cars.
“This morning I tried the Halo protection device and the difference to the usual driving was surprisingly small,” Raikkonnen said. “The visibility is just a little bit limited at the front but I don’t think this is the final version of the device, so it can be improved further.”
Next Tuesday Sebastian Vettel will climb back in the new Ferrari SF16-H for the final pre-season outing ahead of the Australian GP.