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Force India zoom to the top of Barcelona day three timesheets - Ferrari drop back as Hülkenberg posts the fastest time

Published by Christine

Mercedes run a double driver strategy
Mercedes run a double driver strategyCredit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Magnussen makes his Renault debut in Spain
Magnussen makes his Renault debut in SpainCredit: Renault Sport F1
Nasr completes a solid day for Sauber
Nasr completes a solid day for SauberCredit: Sauber AG
Haas finish second on the timesheets
Haas finish second on the timesheetsCredit: Pirelli S.p.A.

Force India knocked Ferrari from the top spot in Barcelona, as Nico Hülkenberg took the team to the head of the timesheets. Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen suffered a lack of running after completing just four installation laps in the morning without setting a lap time, but he made up for it in the afternoon. However, he didn't manage to repeat Vettel's feat of posting the fastest lap time, and he was even deposed to third by Romain Grosjean in the Haas.

All eyes were on Kevin Magnussen, making his F1 return in the Renault. He had no troubles today, compared to the issues suffered by teammate Jolyon Palmer on the previous two days, although he did bring out a red flag an hour before the end of the session.

Rio Haryanto was making his F1 debut for Manor, and he also caused some stoppage time due to a spin out on track. There was another red flag due to one of the wheels on Carlos Sainz's Toro Rosso not being attached correctly.

We are having small issues, very, very small issues, that have to be addressed but apart from that there is progress and confidence that we could have better reliability this year. We were not looking at performance. I don't even know the laptime or what position I finished today.

- Carlos Sainz

Mercedes had intended for Lewis Hamilton to complete a full day of running today, with Nico Rosberg back in the car on Thursday, but they've had to convert their programme into two half-days for each driver instead. This is down to the huge amount of laps the team are completing, which even they weren't anticipating. Each driver has done essentially a double race, so they're taking it in turns for the rest of the test.

2016 testing - Day 3, Barcelona
1N HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team1:23.11099
2R GrosjeanHaas F1 Team1:25.87482
3K RäikkönenScuderia Ferrari1:25.97778
4K MagnussenRenault Sport F1 Team1:26.014111
5N RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:26.08474
6C SainzScuderia Toro Rosso1:26.239161
7F NasrSauber F1 Team1:26.392115
8L HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:26.42188
9D KvyatRed Bull Racing1:26.49774
10F MassaWilliams Martini Racing1:26.712109
11J ButtonMcLaren Honda F1 Team1:26.91951
12R HaryantoManor Racing MRT1:28.24978

Naturally there's nothing to be read from the times, particularly due to the wide variety of tyres on offer this year. However, it's worth noting that Red Bull were on the lower half of the table today, along with Williams, McLaren and Manor.

"Happy and proud" A great day's work for our new Indonesian driver.

ManorRacing ManorRacing

... and just when we were preparing to celebrate Nico's arrival in triple-digit territory, the Hulk dives in the pits. 99 it is.

ForceIndiaF1 ForceIndiaF1

That's a wrap for today's running, folks. We have a hydraulic leak that the team are fixing so we'll be back tomorrow as normal. #F1Testing

McLarenF1 McLarenF1

Even though testing times are meaningless, Haas being second is cool #F1

glenn_autosport glenn_autosport

Tomorrow is the final day of this first week of testing, so teams will hope to wrap up their work with a positive last few hours on track. Rosberg and Hamilton will both be back in the car tomorrow, whilst we'll also see the return of Verstappen and Alfonso Celis, who finishes up the week for Force India.

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