Formula One: Maldonado fastest as McLaren struggles continue

BARCELONA (AFP) - Venezuelan Pastro Maldonado was fastest for the second time in three days of pre-season testing in Barcelona on another miserable day for the McLaren-Honda partnership.

Lotus' Maldonado made the most of his time on the supersoft tyres to record the quickest lap of the test at the Circuit de Catalunya in 1min 24.348sec.

Teenage sensation Max Verstappen was second-fastest in the Toro Rosso, whilst world champion Lewis Hamilton showed no ill-effects from the fever that restricted his running on day one in pounding out another 101 laps for Mercedes.

Indeed Maldonado, Verstappen, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kyvat in the Red Bull all surpassed a century of laps on the day.

However, McLaren were left floundering once more as they suffered from the recurrence of a faulty seal that dogged them on day one in Barcelona.

Jenson Button managed 24 laps and in the slowest time of the 10 drivers on show, meaning all seven other teams on the grid have now completed more than double the mileage of the Woking-based outfit through seven days of testing.

Results from day three of the second pre-season test in Barcelona:

1. Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Lotus) 1:24.348 (104 laps)

2. Max Verstappen (NED/Toro Rosso) 1:24.739 (129 laps)

3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:26.076 (101 laps)

4. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber) 1:26.340 (53 laps)

5. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) 1:26.407 (105 laps)

6. Daniil Kyvat (RUS/Red Bull) 1:26.589 (112 laps)

7. Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams) 1:26.912 (55 laps)

8. Pascal Wehrlein (GER/Force India) 1:27.333 (81 laps)

9. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams) 1:27.556 (49 laps)

10. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) 1:29.151 (24 laps)