Mercedes tops final day of opening pre-season test

Mercedes topped testing in Barcelona

Mercedes has once again topped Formula 1 pre-season testing with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton the two fastest runners.

Sharing duties across the day, the two Mercedes drivers chalked up 138 laps between them with Bottas’ best of 1:15.732s the quickest of the weekend.

Their case was helped by the softest C5 compound tyres, their nearest rival 1.3s back from Bottas.

Third fastest was Esteban Ocon, who logged 76 laps for Renault with a best time of 1:17.102s.

That compared with 93 laps for Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian using the same C4 compound tyres to bang in a 1:17.574s – seventh fastest on the day.

The day was interrupted on four separate occasions; Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel stopping on track with an engine drama that forced the team to swap the power unit in the car.

There were also engine dramas for Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, while Kevin Magnussen found the barrier soon after the day’s running started.

Ricciardo drew the final red flag when the Renault suffered power loss with an hour to run in proceedings.

Friday’s running brings an end to the opening three-day pre-season test.

Another three days is set to follow next week, the final opportunity teams will have for on-track running before heading to the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 12-15.

Formula 1 pre-season testing, Day 3 times

Driver Team Laps Time Diff Tyres
Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 65 1:15.732 C5
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 73 1:16.516 0.784 C5
Esteban Ocon Renault 76 1:17.102 1.370 C4
Lance Stroll Racing Point 116 1:17.338 1.606 C4
Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 62 1:17.427 1.695 C4
Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 152 1:17.469 1.737 C5
Daniel Ricciardo Renault 93 1:17.574 1.842 C4
Max Verstappen Red Bull 86 1:17.636 1.904 C2
Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 59 1:17.783 2.051 C2
Alexander Albon Red Bull 83 1:18.154 2.422 C2
Carlos Sainz McLaren 76 1:18.274 2.542 C2
Romain Grosjean Haas 48 1:18.380 2.648 C3
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 100 1:18.384 2.652 C3
Lando Norris McLaren 49 1:18.454 2.722 C3
Nicholas Natifi Williams 72 1:19.004 3.272 C3
Kevin Magnussen Haas 4 1:19.709 3.977 C2

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