Charles Leclerc continued Ferrari’s fine start to preseason testing by setting the pace ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, whilst Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo spun off mid-morning.
Ferrari’s well-placed confidence has shown little sign of abating after newcomer Leclerc continued to keep the team atop the timing sheets.
Clocking a 1:18.247 and completing 73 laps, the Monegasque driver ended the morning just one tenth of a second off the pace of his four-time champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who ran yesterday.
He finished one second ahead of the late-improving Magnussen – who had a slightly delayed start to the day before making up for lost time – and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi to complete a one-two-three finish for Ferrari power in the morning session.
McLaren’s Lando Norris completed another successful day with the MCL34 by setting the fourth-fastest time ahead of Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest, but he suffered a rear wing failure part-way through the morning session that curtailed his running.
The Australian managed just 27 laps in the morning session, and he will now hand the R.S.19 over to team-mate Nico Hulkenberg for the afternoon.
Lewis Hamilton finished his morning shift in seventh place as Mercedes racked up the laps, but still seemed unwilling to climb the order or push their car to the higher limits expected from them.
Alexander Albon ended the morning in eighth place, but caused the only red flag of the session after spinning off four corners into his first Toro Rosso test outing.
Seemingly caught out on cold tyres, Albon spun on the exit of turn four and beached his car in the gravel trap. The Toro Rosso team, however were able to return the car to the track within the hour.
The timing sheets were propped up by Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, who set a time four tenths slower than Albon.
Results (Classification) (1:00pm):
- Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:18.247 73 Laps
- Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:19.234 29 Laps
- Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber 1:19.312 62 Laps
- Lando Norris McLaren 1:19.489 51 Laps
- Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 1:19.814 69 Laps
- Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:19.886 27 Laps
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.928 74 Laps
- Alexander Albon Toro Rosso 1:20.046 57 Laps
- Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:20.433 45 Laps