Formula One: Raikkonen ups testing pace for Ferrari

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen takes a curve during testing in Barcelona.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen takes a curve during testing in Barcelona.PHOTO: REUTERS

(AFP) - Finland's Kimi Raikkonen registered the fastest time in Formula One testing so far this season on the third day of the second test in Barcelona.

Raikkonen beat team-mate Sebastian Vettel's previous best time from last week on ultrasoft tyres in 1min 22.765sec.

Even more encouragingly for Ferrari, Raikkonen even beat the best time posted so far by dominant world champions Mercedes on the soft tyre compound.

German Nico Hulkenberg was second-quickest as Force India continued to show good pre-season pace with Dutch teenager Max Verstappen third for Toro Rosso.

Mercedes again refused to show their real speed on the penultimate day of testing before the opening race weekend of the season in Australia on March 20.

Nico Rosberg posted another 80 laps in fourth-fastest on the medium tyres.