Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two on the final day of Formula 1’s pre-season shakedown at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the seven-time champion using the C5 compound Pirelli tyres to beat new team-mate George Russell by just under a tenth of a second.
Hamilton set his fastest times late in the afternoon session, the early part of which had been given over to wet running on an artificially dampened track. The Mercedes driver ended the session with a best time of 1:19.138 set in the final 10 minutes which beat Russell's 1:19.233. Russell also set his morning time on C5 tyres.
The Mercedes pair were followed by the Red Bulls of Sergio Pérez and defending world champion Max Verstappen. Pérez drove the team’s RB18 in the afternoon and staged a late bid for top spot on the C4 tyre. In the end he missed out by just over four tenths of a second. Verstappen who finished second to Russell in the morning session thus ended the day in fourth place with a best lap of 1:19.756 set on C3 compound tyres.
Sebastian Vettel ended the day in fifth place for Aston Martin though the four-time champion hit trouble. Vettel had completed 48 laps when an oil leak halted his afternoon running and with the team unable to fix the issue, he failed to run for the rest of the session.
Charles Leclerc was sixth ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz on another positive day for Ferrari, with the former posting 44 laps and the latter 86 laps of the Barcelona circuit.
New Williams recuit Alex Albon also had something to smile about as he finished in eighth place with a best time of 1:20.318 and a lap total of 88. He also ended the day more than three tenths ahead of team-mate Nicholas Latifi who finished in P9.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10 ahead of team-mate Lando Norris but 12th-place Fernando Alonso only managed 12 laps as Alpine’s day was cut short by a hydraulic problem that caused a small fire at the back of the car. The damage forced the team to call a halt to running for the day.
Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou finished in 13th place despite twice bringing out the red flags and there was tourble too for AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly who crashed at Turn 5 in the morning session.
Haas, too, had a difficult day. The US team ran without it’s usual title sponsorship by Russian firm Uralkali following the invasion of Ukraine but Russian driver Nikita Mazepin managed only nine laps in the morning before a suspected leak forced the team to end the test early.
Formula 1 Pre-Season Shakedown, Barcelona – Day Three
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.138 89
2 George Russell Mercedes 1:19.233 +0.095s 66
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:19.556 +0.418s 68
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:19.756 +0.618s 59
5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:19.824 +0.686s 48
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:19.831 +0.693s 44
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:20.072 +0.934s 86
8 Alex Albon Williams 1:20.318 +1.180s 88
9 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:20.699 +1.561s 13
10 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:20.750 +1.612s 80
11 Lando Norris McLaren 1:20.827 +1.689s 52
12 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:21.242 +2.104s 12
13 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 1:21.939 +2.801s 41
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:22.469 +3.331s 40
15 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1:26.229 +7.912s 9
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:30.433 +11.295s 10