Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas moved clear of the pack on
the final morning of the opening Formula 1 test of 2020.
After Bottas’ session on Thursday was truncated by a
sensor issue the Finn returned to action on Friday morning in the W11.
Bottas used Pirelli’s C5s – the softest available
compound – to set a time of 1:15.732s, just three-tenths down on his pole-sitting
effort at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.
While Mercedes flexed its muscles up front Ferrari
had a setback to its testing programme.
Sebastian Vettel came to a halt through Turn 12 just
90 minutes into the session due to an engine issue, and Ferrari was forced to
undertake a power unit change.
He did not return to the circuit through the
remainder of the session.
Vettel finished the session down in ninth place.
Bottas’ advantage at the end of the four-hour session
was 1.370s, with Renault’s Esteban Ocon second and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll
Max Verstappen was the most productive driver through the morning session as he amassed 86 laps in the Red Bull RB16.
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was sixth, ahead of
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Haas’ Romain Grosjean.
Nicholas Latifi finished at the foot of the
timesheets and caused the second red flag of the day when his Williams FW43 coasted
to a halt along the pit straight.
Friday afternoon’s session will begin at 14:00 local time.
|3||L. Stroll||Racing Point||1:17.338||1.606||52||C4|
|5||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||1:17.636||1.904||86||C2|
|6||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:18.035||2.303||65||C3|