Mercedes back on top/Stroll crashes
Mercedes continued its impressive start to pre-season testing by topping the times on the third day at Barcelona.
New recruit Valtteri Bottas posted the fastest time of the entire test by clocking a 1:19.70s on ultra-soft compound tyres in the morning session.
Bottas completed 75 laps before handing over to Lewis Hamilton who ran a full race simulation in the afternoon.
Ferrari once again emerged as Mercedes’ nearest rivals with Sebastian Vettel just 0.247s shy of Bottas’ benchmark on soft tyres.
Vettel utilised the medium compound rubber through much of the test before his day came to a premature end.
The four-time world champion ground to a halt on the start/finish straight with nine minutes remaining, which brought out the fourth and final red flag of the hit-out.
Williams’ Lance Stroll was involved in the most serious of the stoppages when he crashed at Turn 5 causing significant to the left front suspension and front wing.
It was the third incident for the debutant at the test, having suffered issues on the second day.
Williams is unsure if the FW40 will be repaired for today’s final two sessions.
Earlier interruptions were caused by Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.
Red Bull Racing ended the day third fastest after Daniel Ricciardo logged 70 laps including a personal best, which was 1.4s adrift of the pace.
Renault elected to run both drivers during the day with Palmer fourth and Niko Hulkenberg fifth on the timesheets.
Sauber enjoyed an encouraging run in seventh as Marcus Ericsson recorded 126 laps.
The Swede made use of super-soft tyres to post his personal best which was marginally faster than the Haas F1 of Romain Grosjean.
The top 10 was completed by Hamilton (Mercedes), Stroll (Williams) and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso as the team completed its most productive day yet with 70 laps in the books.
Force India’s Alfonso Celis and Daniil Kvyat also enjoyed seat time during the day.
The final day of the opening pre-season test begins later today.
Result: Formula 1 Pre-Season Test Day 3, Barcelona
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:21.153s||+1.448s||70|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:23.540s||+3.835s||32|
|12||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1:23.568s||+3.863s||71|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:23.952s||+4.247s||31|