Fernando Alonso sets only flying laps in third day of F1 testing
A snowy third day of Formula 1 testing was led by Fernando Alonso, the McLaren driver setting the only flying lap of the day to lead with a time of 2min18.545sec.
Testing was delayed by three hours on Wednesday morning with snow on the circuit, and an hour later there was still a lack of action on track. Red Bull, Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso sent Daniel Ricciardo, Marcus Ericsson, Robert Kubica and Brendon Hartley, respectively, to perform installation laps but conditions were deemed inadequate for further testing to take place.
In the final hour of the session, Alonso began to set timed laps, the only driver to do so. Mercedes, Ferrari, Force India, Renault and Haas declined to take part in the session.
Questions were raised as to whether teams would support an extra day of running after Thursday, or a change of scenery for next year’s winter test, but reports have surfaced that teams vetoed an extra day of testing, with Claire Williams saying on Tuesday, “I know there have been some conversations about potentially extending the test because of the weather.
“I don’t think every team is lobbying for the test to continue, as far as I am aware, there are a few teams that would like it to continue, but we do have a scheduled filming day and we have booked the circuit [on Friday], and obviously that’s important to us. I know Ferrari have the same, scheduled on Saturday.”
“I think if we are concerned about weather, then maybe round the table at strategy group we have a conversation about where we go to avoid this issue – winters seem to be getting much, much colder in Europe.
“At least we’re not at Silverstone,” joked Williams.
Williams chief technical officer Paddy Lowe said, on the other hand, that a change of winter testing venue would be unfeasible.
“Somehow it worked out to be cheaper [when we tested at Jerez], but if we did it now with this calendar it would be very, very expensive. We are still testing, so I don’t see it as a disaster and in many ways it’s more convenient for you to come here. Many of you from the media wouldn’t want to go as far as Bahrain anyway. In the end, if it’s the same for everyone, I think that’s the main point.”