Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas has set the fastest time of 2020 Formula 1 testing so far during Friday’s morning session, while Ferrari had an engine failure.
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas has topped the timesheets on the opening morning of the final day of the first test in Barcelona. The Finnish driver enjoyed a fast run on the softest C5 compound around midday to lower the testing benchmark to 1:15.7 – almost a second quicker than the 1:16.6 he set on the C3 compound just half an hour earlier to initially set the testing record.
Bottas’ 1:15.7 is by far and away the quickest seen in testing so far this year, and is a full half second clear of the best time seen in pre-season testing overall in 2019. Bottas also logged a Grand Prix distance as he did 60 laps in total.
Esteban Ocon was P2 in the Renault, but over a second down on what Bottas managed. He completed 76 laps as Renault concentrated on setup work on the RS20.
Lance Stroll was P3 for Racing Point, as the team continue to linger close to the top of the times with their new RP20. Stroll was a quarter of a second off the time set by Ocon.
There were two brief red flag periods during the course of the morning. The first one was caused by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who broke down on track after just 40 laps completed. After his car was recovered to the pits, Ferrari confirmed he had suffered an engine issue resulting in the engine being sent back to Maranello for analysis. The team are currently working on fitting a fresh power unit to the SF1000.
The other red flag was for Nicholas Latifi. The Williams driver did 44 laps during the morning before he suffered an apparent engine failure while powering down the main straight. Ironically, his best time of the morning was set as he crossed the start finish line while grinding to a halt.
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