Lando Norris was the fastest man on the first day of Formula 1‘s second and final winter test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, despite suffering two on-track failures.
The McLaren F1 Team rookie prompted two red flag periods, one in the morning session and the other in the last 15 minutes of the day, in between a fastest time of a 1 minute 17.709 seconds on the C4 tyres.
Norris’s first problem came courtesy of a loss of hydraulic pressure in the MCL34 after just 38 laps, the cause of the later stoppage is currently unknown.
Overall Norris completed 80 laps and displaced Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Pierre Gasly at the top of the timing screens by just 0.006 seconds, after the Frenchman had led the way for most of the afternoon running on C3s.
Gasly had also enjoyed an advantage for most of the morning session too, before Antonio Giovinazzi and Alfa Romeo Racing attempted a fast run on the C4 tyres.
Lance Stroll completed the top three for the SportPesa Racing Point Formula 1 Team, also on C4s, 0.115s adrift of the Brit over the course of 82 laps.
Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow were subjected to a quiet day gathering data on long runs on high fuel, contributing to a best time of a 1:17.925 for the German and fourth place.
Trailing the lead Ferraris was morning pacesetter Giovinazzi, who similarly turned his attentions to longer runs post-lunchtime – even giving a rare glimpse of the hardest tyres Pirelli Motorsport have for 2019, the non-bracketed C1s.
Worryingly for Alfa Romeo, he stopped at the exit of the pitlane in the dying seconds of the day.
Alexander Albon had a slow start to the second test for Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, completing a bulk of laps after the first red flag period, but showed good pace on the C4s to move up to sixth and was one of four drivers to surpass 100 laps for the day.
The Thai driver’s final hour charge put an end to his afternoon pattern of completing long-distance running on C2s.
Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc had his running in the morning disrupted by the need for Ferrari to check the SF90‘s cooling system.
Leclerc had traded times with Giovinazzi and Gasly towards the end of the first session on C3s, but fell to seventh in the final standings 0.880s off of Norris’s pace.
Kevin Magnussen completed pleasing long runs for the Haas F1 Team following the multiple problems it faced in the first week of testing.
George Russell was back behind the wheel for ROKiT Williams Racing, partaking in more installation work thanks to the lateness of the FW42‘s completion last week.
Russell set his best lap on the softest C5 tyres, well into the mid-1m19s, and ran on high fuel for most of the afternoon.
World champions Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport suffered a nervy start to the final week of testing, lounging at the bottom of the order once again.
Valtteri Bottas ground to a halt on his out-lap with a fuel pressure problem, leading to a precautionary engine change for the Finn.
Bottas re-emerged to complete six laps at the end of the day with a time quicker than team-mate Lewis Hamilton, both on the C2 tyres.
There seemed to be little change in Mercedes’ schedule for the morning, with Hamilton completing more data gathering without issue on the C2 and C3s.
Mercedes was joined at the bottom by the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, with Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg either side of the pair.
Renault clocked up 157 laps, split 80-77 in Hülkenberg’s favour, with Ricciardo taking over from the German in the afternoon.
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