Nikita Mazepin fastest for Mercedes as F1 testing ends

Nikita Mazepin clocked the fastest time for Mercedes as Formula 1 in-season testing concluded at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday.

As in Bahrain, Formula 1 stayed on in Spain for two days of post-race running, with the circuit open for action on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Following on from Valtteri Bottas’ headline-grabbing effort on Tuesday, Mazepin recovered from a pre-lunch off into the Turn 12 gravel to post a time of 1:15.775.

That left him just under four-tenths down on Bottas’ pole time from last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The 2018 GP3 Series runner-up and one-time Force India tester does not have a direct connection with Mercedes but is carrying out private running in its 2017 car as part of his 2019 programme.

Teams must run young drivers for half of their in-season test days and with George Russell ineligible post-Bahrain Mazepin fills the requirement for Mercedes.

Alexander Albon was second for Toro Rosso but brought proceedings to a premature end when his STR14 came to a halt at Turn 10.

Ferrari handed a first outing since 2016 to simulator driver Antonio Fuoco and he was third, in front of regular racer Charles Leclerc, completing test duties on behalf of tyre supplier Pirelli.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, ahead of Renault test driver Jack Aitken, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Racing Point simulator driver Nick Yelloly.

Racing Point again had a second RP19 in action for the purpose of 2020 tyre testing and Lance Stroll took over from Sergio Perez, placing 12th of the 13 runners.

Nicholas Latifi remained in the Williams and the Formula 2 title leader classified ninth, with Red Bull protégé Dan Ticktum rounding out the top 10.

McLaren split running between Oliver Turvey and Sergio Sette Camara but the Brazilian had only a short spell in the MCL34 after the car stopped on track.

Aside from Pirelli tyre testing the next group Formula 1 test session is set to take place after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in early December.

Formula 1 action will resume next Thursday with practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

# Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 N. Mazepin Mercedes 1:15.775   128
2 A. Albon Toro Rosso 1:17.079 1.304 109
3 A. Fuoco Ferrari 1:17.284 1.509 120
4 C. Leclerc Pirelli (Ferrari) 1:17.349 1.574 127
5 K. Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:17.393 1.618 110
6 J. Aitken Renault 1:17.621 1.846 75
7 K. Magnussen Haas 1:18.101 2.326 106
8 N. Yelloly Racing Point 1:18.212 2.437 83
9 N. Latifi Williams 1:18.573 2.798 88
10 D. Ticktum Red Bull 1:19.458 3.683 79
11 O. Turvey McLaren 1:20.712 4.937 52
12 L. Stroll Pirelli (Racing Point) 1:20.745 4.970 119
13 S. Sette Camara McLaren 1:21.565 5.790 19