Formula 1

Bottas and Mercedes fastest on first day of post-Spanish GP F1 test

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Valtteri Bottas - Formula 1 - 2019 Spain Test
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time on the opening day of the official two-day post-Spanish Grand Prix Formula 1 test at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya.

The Mercedes AMG Motorsport driver, who finished second in Sunday’s race to team-mate Lewis Hamilton, set a best time of 1:15.511 – just a fraction over a tenth of a second away from his pole position time.

However, the Finn’s best lap on Tuesday afternoon was recorded on the softest, C5 compound – opposed to the C3s used for his pole lap.

Charles Leclerc was 1.422 seconds behind in second for Scuderia Ferrari, albeit on the C2 tyres, with Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Daniil Kvyat rounding out the top three in sunny conditions.

The top two stayed the same from the morning running, with Bottas drastically improving his time in the afternoon having moved onto a softer tyre.

Kvyat, the Renault F1 Team‘s Nico Hülkenberg and Red Bull Racing‘s Pierre Gasly displaced the morning’s third-fastest runner, Carlos Sainz Jr, towards the end of the day, leaving the McLaren F1 Team driver sixth in the standings at the close of play.

Gasly stopped on track with just over an hour of the day remaining by the start-finish line with a suspected transmission problem, just moments after Bottas’s table-topping lap, and brought out the red flag for seven minutes.

The Haas F1 Team‘s Pietro Fittipaldi was the fastest ‘rookie’ runner of the day in seventh, 2.8s adrift of Bottas, while Nick Yelloly was just 0.035 slower than the Brazilian for the Racing Point F1 Team.

Nick Yelloly - Formula 1 - 2019 Spain Test

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Porsche Supercup star Yelloly, who has been Racing Point’s long-standing simulator driver, made his first F1 testing appearance for four years – back when the team was known as Force India.

Sebastian Vettel carried out development work for Pirelli Motorsport‘s 2020 tyre range in the Ferrari, along with Racing Point’s eleventh-placed man Sergio Pérez, while the second McLaren of Lando Norris completed the top 10.

Ferrari junior and Formula 2 driver Callum Ilott suffered a heavy accident at Turn 3 immediately after setting his best time of the day in the Alfa Romeo Racing car, ending his first F1 test midway through the afternoon.

Fortunately, the 20-year-old walked away unscathed.

Ilott was 0.8s quicker than fellow F2 driver Nicholas Latifi, the day’s slowest runner, who was driving for Williams Racing.

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DTM, Formula 1 writer and deputy editor for The Checkered Flag. Autosport Academy member and freelance voice over artist.
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