Raikkonen fastest as first test ends in Jerez

Wed Feb 4, 2015 1:21pm EST
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(Reuters) - Formula One's first pre-season test ended in Jerez on Wednesday with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen fastest, Mercedes doing more laps than anyone else and McLaren once again bottom of the timesheets.

While Raikkonen completed 106 laps in the new Ferrari SF15-T car, and ensured Ferrari-engined cars set the pace every day, champions Mercedes showed off their reliability with the most distance covered.

Double world champion Lewis Hamilton did 117 laps, taking Mercedes' tally over the four days to 516 laps and equal to 2,284km, and was not worried about the times.

"It's been pretty amazing this week to see how reliable the car has been and how much mileage we've covered," said the Briton, who won 11 of the 19 races last year.

"We all loved the experience of last year and everyone wants to do it again. This is where you prove out the car -- looking for as many laps as you can, not searching for fast times.

"It's been really positive from that perspective and every day here the car has got better as we learn more about it," added the 30-year-old who was third on the day's timesheets.

McLaren, whose drivers managed only six laps each on the first two days at the wheel of the new Honda-powered car, managed at least to try some long runs even if technical problems again hampered them.

Jenson Button managed 35 laps, building on the 32 done by Fernando Alonso on Tuesday, but the day again ended early after what the team said was a fuel-related spark/ignition issue.

"Unfortunately, we’ve had a few issues this week – all of which have been pretty small – but cumulatively they meant we were stuck in the garage for quite some time," said engineering director Matt Morris.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One racing driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland drives his car during pre-season testing at the Jerez racetrack in southern Spain February 3, 2015. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo