Ferrari have another F1 test, as McLaren is going faster on the sixth day


MONTMELO, Spain – McLaren were fastest for the second straight day in the last week of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya with Ferrari facing its second setback in a few days.

Carlos Sainz improved more than half a second in The best time of Lando Norris on Tuesday to set a new record back in the preseason for the Circuit de Catalunya. The time – 1: 17.144 – was still the second lap record set during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix last year but served as further proof of the McLaren resurgence after a solid preseason so far.

Sainz was using Pirelli's second, softer tire compound – known as the C4 – which suggests that McLaren is still coming much closer to the softer rubber. It left Sainz comfortably faster in 0.698s of Racing Point's Sergio Perez while the best teams continued to mask their true pace on the softer tires.

Ferrari's track time was severely limited by a morning high-speed accident involving Sebastian Vettel. The three-time world champion pulled away from the uninjured crash, but the car was destroyed and completed only one lap in the afternoon. The team suspects that the failure of the front suspension was the culprit, as Vettel entered high-speed curve 3.

The issue was Ferrari's second problem in a few days after checks on the cooling system cost Vettel's team mate Charles Leclerc on track. Despite completing more than nine races in the first week of testing, Vettel said the missed laps are still a concern.

"Well, we covered a lot of mileage last week, but certainly the plan is to always deliver on its program," he said. "We had more laps on the scoreboard than 40 this morning, so it's certainly not ideal as we're wasting time."

"But now it's important to understand what happened." I hit the wall hard and I think Tecpro and the wall did their job and the car did the work, but of course after the impact the car was badly damaged. which also makes it very difficult to reconstruct what was happening shortly before the impact. "

The car was rebuilt in time for Leclerc to complete only one installation lap before the checkered flag.

Another three red flags stopped working during the day, with the loss of water pressure causing Sainz's car to stop at the track in the morning, Max Verstappen stopping at the pit lane exit and Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo stopping on the track in the final minute of the session.

After a problem in the power unit kept Mercedes in the garage for most of Tuesday afternoon, the world champions made up for lost time on Wednesday with a total of 176 laps between the two drivers. Lewis Hamilton completed the lion's share with 104 laps in the afternoon to add to Valtteri Bottas 72 in the morning.

Once again, Mercedes' lap times were not immensely impressive after both drivers set their fastest time on the C3 to finish eighth and ninth. Only Renault – dividing track time between Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg – and Williams were slower, although all three teams have completed the good mileage.

Times in closing:

1. Sainz, McLaren, 1: 17.144, 130 laps

2. Perez, Racing Point, 1: 17.842, 88 laps

3. Vettel, Ferrari, 1: 18.195, 40 laps

4. Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, 1: 18.209, 113 laps

5. Grosjean, Haas, 1: 18,330, 120 rounds

6. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1: 18.395, 128 laps

7. Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1: 18,682, 101 laps

8. Bottas, Mercedes, 1: 18.941, 74 laps

9. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1: 18.943, 102 laps

10. Hulkenberg, Renault, 1: 19.056, 58 laps

11. Kubica, Williams, 1: 19367, 130 laps

12. Ricciardo, Renault, 1: 19,367, 72 laps

13. Leclerc, Ferrari, no time, 1 lap


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