Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished fastest on the opening morning of the penultimate day of Formula 1 testing at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya.
The four-time World Champion clocked a 1:16.841 towards the end of the session on the C5 tyre, the third best time of the test so far.
Despite setting the fastest time of the day, Vettel did bring out a second red flag in two days for spraying gravel all over the circuit.
This time he spun on the exit of Turn 5, but was able to get himself out of the gravel trap unaided.
Nobody was able to complete more than 50 laps due to the conditions at the start of the day as rain had hit the circuit overnight which left the track fairly damp, forcing drivers to head out on the intermediates for the first 90 minutes of the session.
Lance Stroll spent much of the morning at the top of the timesheet, his best time coming on the C4 tyre, just 0.277 seconds behind Vettel.
Nicholas Latifi had a solid morning for Williams despite a small excursion in the gravel at T12 earlier in the morning, finishing the morning in third, 0.472s behind Vettel’s time.
Lando Norris placed fifth ahead of Max Verstappen who had an eventful morning, first spinning at the final chicane early on, then another one on the entry to Turn 5, touching the damp outside entry kerb. Getting his Red Bull beached in the gravel trap which brought out red flag.
Bottas had a similar moment at Turn 5 just minutes before Verstappen but was able to collect it up and drive out of the gravel, finishing the morning in sixth ahead of Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen.
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi also brought out another red flag after he spun at Turn 4 after touching the outside entry kerb, hitting the wall on the outside.
The Italian was able to bring the C39 back to the garage despite some rear wing damage.
Pierre Gasly would finish 10th, 5.7s down on Vettel’s best time.
Only Renault, Red Bull and Mercedes plan on swapping drivers for the afternoon.
Thursday’s afternoon session will run for four hours, beginning at 14:00 local time.
|2||L. Stroll||Racing Point||1:17.118||0.277||30|
|5||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||1:17.738||0.897||31|
|9||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:19.670||2.829||16|