Valtteri Bottas inches towards Barcelona track record at F1 test

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas came close to bettering his own recently-set track record during the afternoon test session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Tuesday.

Formula 1 title contender Bottas, who ended the morning session in the 1:16s, used Pirelli’s C5 tyres to clock a time of 1:15.511, just over a tenth down on his pole time (using C3s) set last Saturday.

Bottas finished 1.422s up on Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who used C2s, with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat third and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg fourth.

On a subdued day of running in warm and sunny conditions in Spain the biggest drama befell F1 test debutant Callum Ilott.

Ferrari-backed Ilott, testing for Alfa Romeo, crashed out of proceedings at Turn 3 just under an hour into the afternoon session.

Ilott was uninjured but his crash required the session to be halted while the wreckage was removed.

The only other red flag of the day was caused by fifth-placed Pierre Gasly stopping on the pit straight due to a suspected transmission issue in his Red Bull RB15.

It brought the Frenchman’s day to an end an hour earlier than anticipated.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. was sixth, in front of Haas tester Pietro Fittipaldi, Racing Point development driver Nick Yelloly and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who drove a Pirelli-run SF90.

Sergio Perez, who placed 11th, was also in action on behalf of Pirelli, as the two drivers assisted with 2020 tyre development.

Lando Norris took over from Sainz Jr. for the afternoon session and rounded out the top 10.  

Williams reserve driver Nicholas Latifi finished at the foot of the 13-driver classification, with his best effort over five seconds down on Bottas’ benchmark.

Formula 1 testing will resume at 09:00 local time on Wednesday

# Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 V. Bottas Mercedes 1:15.511   131
2 C. Leclerc Ferrari 1:16.933 1.422 131
3 D. Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:17.679 2.168 121
4 N. Hulkenberg Renault 1:18.051 2.540 68
5 P. Gasly Red Bull 1:18.140 2.629 118
6 C. Sainz McLaren 1:18.263 2.752 64
7 P. Fittipaldi Haas 1:18.326 2.815 103
8 N. Yelloly Racing Point 1:18.361 2.850 111
9 S. Vettel Pirelli (Ferrari) 1:18.425 2.914 132
10 L. Norris McLaren 1:18.567 3.056 44
11 S. Perez Pirelli (Racing Point) 1:19.719 4.208 118
12 C. Ilott Alfa Romeo 1:19.819 4.308 41
13 N. Latifi Williams 1:20.670 5.159 132