Ferrari topped the timesheets for the first time in 2020 on the penultimate day of Formula 1 pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, as Mercedes encountered a setback.
Sebastian Vettel suffered a spin through the Turn 5 gravel early on but went on to clock a time of 1:16.841s on Pirelli’s C5 tyres, comfortably Ferrari’s best time of testing so far.
It was nonetheless over a second slower than the best time managed across the five days of testing, achieved by Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes in the opening week.
However the reigning World Champions endured its first major setback of the campaign as Lewis Hamilton stopped on track just 14 laps into the afternoon session.
Mercedes confirmed that an oil pressure anomaly prompted a precautionary engine shutdown, leaving him at the foot of the 13-driver table.
Along with Valtteri Bottas’ relatively meagre 47-lap tally – with morning running compromised by a damp track after overnight rain – it left Mercedes with just 61 laps on Thursday.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly finished second, 0.225s behind Vettel, while Lance Stroll continued Racing Point’s encouraging pre-season by placing third.
Williams rookie Nicholas Latifi added much-needed mileage to his tally after previous problems as he racked up 161 laps in the FW43, placing fourth overall.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen caused a red flag when he spun off at Turn 5 in the morning session and he placed sixth overall, with afternoon runner Alexander Albon rounding out the top 10.
Renault split running between Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo once more while Kevin Magnussen continued Haas’ quite pre-season phase by placing ninth.
Antonio Giovinazzi caused the session to be stopped in the morning as he spun through Turn 4 and hit the barrier, causing damage to the new rear wing on the Alfa Romeo C39.
Giovinazzi was able to return to the pit lane for repairs and resume Alfa Romeo’s programme.
The final day of pre-season will begin on Friday at 09:00.
|3||L. Stroll||Racing Point||1:17.118||0.277||130|
|6||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||1:17.738||0.897||31|
|10||A. Albon||Red Bull||1:18.393||1.552||61|
|12||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:19.670||2.829||92|
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