Bottas fastest, Stroll crashes out, late problems for Ferrari

Barcelona testing – Valtteri Bottas remained the fastest man of pre-season testing in another high-mileage day for Mercedes.

Having set the fastest time of the test so far with an ultra-soft tyre run this morning, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was challenged only by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the afternoon session.

The Ferrari driver posted a 1:19.952 on soft tyres to fall two tenths short of the benchmark. He was 1.2 seconds faster than Daniel Ricciardo’s morning lap time.

The session didn’t end very smoothly for Ferrari, however. Vettel’s Ferrari stopped on the pit straight with just ten minutes of the day to go.

A few teams elected to use both of their drivers for day three. Like days one & two, Mercedes gave half a day to Lewis Hamilton, whilst Renault and Toro Rosso used Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz respectively for the afternoon.

Despite a spin for Jolyon Palmer in the morning, the Renault team finished with their drivers fourth and fifth on the timings screen, achieving 93 laps altogether. Palmer lead Nico Hulkenberg at the flag.

Marcus Ericsson completed a solid day for Sauber, who registered 125 laps on their way to sixth place ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who focused solely on longer runs, and Romain Grosjean (Haas).

Lance Stroll was back running after his spin in the morning session, although his test ended early after he crashed out with an hour and a half to go, bringing out the red flags. The Canadian rookie lost control of his car on the exit of turn five.

Fernando Alonso had a mostly trouble-free day in the McLaren, completing 72 laps in 10th place.

Toro Rosso’s day ended early following a mistake from their afternoon runner Carlos Sainz, who ran wide at turn four and beached his car in the gravel trap.

He and Daniil Kvyat finished the day in 11th and 13th respectively, sandwiching Force India’s development driver Alfonso Celis Jr.

To view the results of the session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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