The first test ends with a Mercedes 1-2 even as Ferrari hit trouble

by Sudha Sundararaj

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team ended the final day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain with a Valtteri Bottas led 1-2 on the time charts.

The Scuderia Ferrari team was responsible for one of the four red flags on the final day of the first test. Sebastian Vettel stopped on the track due to a Power Unit (PU) failure in the morning session. Vettel was back on the track after a change of engine and the Italian team managed only hundred laps for the whole day and thirteenth position on the time charts.

There was another stoppage caused by a power unit failure on Nicolas Latifi’s Mercedes powered Williams challenger. Kevin Magnussen managed only four laps as he hit the barriers and damaged his car. Late in the day, Daniel Ricciardo ground to a halt after an engine issue, but returned quickly.

Even as the other teams were battling issues, Mercedes had a trouble-free day as Bottas with 65 laps clocked the fastest lap time of the first test with a 1m 15.732s. The time was set on the softest compound tyres in the Pirelli range (C5).

Lewis Hamilton took over the wheel in the afternoon session and put in 70 laps as he ended the day with second position on the time charts. The dominant performance from the reigning world champions sends a warning to the other teams.

The two Red Bull drivers, Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon, combined for a total of 143 laps even as they finished with eight and ninth positions on the time charts.

Esteban Ocon for his new team Renault was third on the time charts behind the two Mercedes drivers. Ocon and Ricciardo clocked 169 laps for the French team to end the first test on a good note.

Lance Stroll with 114 laps ended the day in fourth point for the Racing Point F1 team in the RP20. The Silverstone-based team had a good first test even as their car which closely resembles the Mercedes W10 car of last season raised eyebrows.

Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly combined for a total for 119 laps as they finished fifth and tenth on the time charts for the newly rebranded Scuderia AlphaTauri team.

Antonio Giovinazzi was sixth on the time charts for the Alfa Romeo Racing team even as he put in 152 laps in the new C39 car.

Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris combined for a total of 125 laps on a subdued but steady final day of testing for McLaren as their drivers finished eleventh and fourteenth on the time charts.

The Haas F1 team has put in less mileage than the other teams due to shunts from their drivers in the last two days of testing. Romain Grosjean managed 48 laps today as he finished in twelfth position on the time charts. Magnussen only managed four laps after an off track excursion damaged the car in the afternoon.

Latifi managed only 71 laps and fifteenth position on the time charts after he brought out the red flag with a power unit failure. He returned to the track after a change of engine.

Mercedes’ dominant performance on the final day of testing sends an ominous warning to all the rival teams.

Results of Day 3 of the First Pre-Season Test

PosDriverCarTimeGapLaps
1Valtteri BottasMercedes1m15.732s-65
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m16.516s0.784s73
3Esteban OconRenault1m17.102s1.370s76
4Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes1m17.338s1.606s116
5Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri/Honda1m17.427s1.695s62
6Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari1m17.469s1.737s152
7Daniel RicciardoRenault1m17.574s1.842s93
8Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda1m17.636s1.904s86
9Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri/Honda1m17.783s2.051s59
10Alexander AlbonRed Bull/Honda1m18.154s2.422s83
11Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault1m18.274s2.542s76
12Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m18.380s2.648s48
13Sebastian VettelFerrari1m18.384s2.652s100
14Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault1m18.454s2.722s49
15Nicholas LatifiWilliams/Mercedes1m19.004s3.272s72
16Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari1m19.708s3.976s4

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