AS MERCEDES FINISH ONE-TWO
Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap of the first week of Formula opening pre-season test, posting a time of 1:15.732 to beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes took the top two spots on the final day timesheet
Driving in the morning session Bottas bolted on a set of C5 compound tyres – the softest in Pirelli’s range – and quickly rose to the top of the order with a lap that once Hamilton had tried and failed to match on the same compound in the afternoon remained the benchmark for the rest of the day.
Hamilton’s run on the tyre was scruffy and the six-time champion ended the day in P2, 0.784s off his teammate's benchmark.
Third place in the session went to Renault’s Esteban Ocon, with the Frenchman setting a time of 1:17.102 to finish a little over two tenths of a second ahead of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, with AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat a further tenth back in fourth.
Ocon posted a total of 76 laps to give Renault a solid morning total and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo added another 93 laps in the afternoon to give the French squad its largest single-day total of the week. It wasn’t all plain sailing for Renault, however, and Ricciardo brought out the red flags midway through the afternoon when he stopped on track on the run to Turn 9. The team was able to get the Australian back out for the final hour of running, however, and finished the day in P7.
Ricciardo’s stoppage was the fourth of the day. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel brought out the red flags midway through the morning session due to a suspected power unit issue, though the four-time did manage to return to the action and posted 100 laps on his way to P13.
Williams’ Nicholas Latifi was the next to cause a halt, the Canadian also suffering an engine problem in the morning. The team fitted a new power unit for the afternoon, and he managed to complete 72 laps as he took P15 on the timesheet, seven tenths of a second clear of the day’s final red-flagged driver, Kevin Magnussen. The Haas driver crashed at Turn 8 early in the afternoon session and with significant damage caused to his car, he was unable to run again.
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi posted the days largest single-driver lap count with 152 laps, and the Italian’s best time of 1:17.469 was good enough to secure sixth place ahead of Ricciardo.
Red Bull Racing made the decision to split driving duties on the final day of test one and Max Verstappen put 86 laps on the board on his way to eighth place as the team conducted race simulations. Team-mate Alex Albon took over in the afternoon and though he was unable to complete a race sim due to red flags the Thai driver added another 83 laps to Red Bull’s total as he claimed P10.
The Red Bulls were split by second AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly, while Carlos Sainz finished 11thfor McLaren ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Lando Norris who drove for McLaren in the afternoon.
2020 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test 1, Day 3
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:15.732 65
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.516 73
3 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:17.102 76
4 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:17.338 116
5 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 1:17.427 62
6 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:17.469 152
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:17.574 93
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:17.636 86
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:17.783 59
10 Alexander Albon Red Bull 1:18.154 83
11 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:18.274 76
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:18.380 48
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:18.384 100
14 Lando Norris McLaren 1:18.454 49
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:19.004 72
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:19.708 4