Testing – Formula 1 2018 pre-season testing has resumed for the second week. Stay with us for live updates throughout the seventh day.
17:00 – Chequered flag, and the day ends with formation starts, a brief VSC period, and some pitstop practice. Vettel’s morning record time of 1:17.182 remains the fastest of the day, ahead of Magnussen and that late time from Pierre Gasly.
🏁🏁🏁 Another day for timebreakers!! Plenty of 1:18 laps… although some have hidden their secrets… 😉 pic.twitter.com/SpJKXDiosW
— Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (@Circuitcat_eng) March 8, 2018
16:00 – We’ve had a brief red flag, due to Marcus Ericsson spinning off at Turn 4.
With emphasis completely on race simulations, there has been very little change on the timesheets. Notable exception to that is Pierre Gasly, who powered the Toro Rosso Honda to P3 a short while ago, using the HyperSofts. He set a 1:18.3, less than a tenth off Kevin Magnussen’s time in P2, although 1.2 down on Vettel’s blistering time from this morning on the same tyre.
— Robert McAllister (@THE_1_GUNMAN) March 8, 2018
15:05 – It’s all very sensible out there this afternoon, with drivers all out on race simulations by the looks of the lengths of their runs. Mercedes apparently don’t have any HyperSofts at the test, meaning we won’t get to see a balls to the wall effort from either Bottas or Hamilton on a direct comparison with Ferrari.
Hamilton is out there, approaching 40 laps since lunchtime.
📈 37 laps on the books so far this afternoon for @LewisHamilton
That's 134 for the W09 today! #DrivenByEachOther #F1Testing pic.twitter.com/tPej1DZ2YG
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 8, 2018
14:20 – As has been the case all week, the afternoon session has been slow to come back to life. There’s a few driver changes for the afternoon – Lewis Hamilton is in the Mercedes, Carlos Sainz in the Renault and Lance Stroll in the Williams.
In a change from the intense and extremely fast lapping he did before lunch, fastest man Sebastian Vettel is on track doing a race simulation on Medium tyres, looks like he’s going to be out there for quite a while.
13:00 – Lunch time break! Vettel has lowered the benchmark further, setting a 1:17.3, then a 1:17.1 on the HyperSoft – pretty incredible pace from the Ferrari.
Kevin Magnussen finishes the morning P2 and over a second behind, with Hulkenberg P3 for Renault. A last minute lap before lunch from Pierre Gasly puts the Toro Rosso P4, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who has been concentrating on race sims on the Medium tyre this morning.
12:20 – We have gotten our wish – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has set a new lap record, and a new fastest time for this pre-season testing. 1:17.6 on the HyperSofts puts him easily fastest, and 0.4 clear of what Ricciardo managed on the same tyre yesterday.
We are yet to see Mercedes lay down what we think they’re ultimately capable of, but that is a stern challenge from Ferrari.
11:50 – New fastest time at the top. Sebastian Vettel has just put in a 1:18.074, just a fraction slower than Ricciardo’s record time from yesterday. However, Vettel’s time was set on the UltraSoft, a tyre which, supposedly, is a step slower than Ricciardo’s HyperSoft lap. Whether that’s true or not, we’ll have to wait and see, but that’s an impressive time from the Ferrari.
Who’s been a busy boy this morning? @ValtteriBottas has 54 laps under his belt – the most of anyone today 👊#DrivenByEachOther #F1Testing pic.twitter.com/yRJ3ZXqB4l
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 8, 2018
11:05 – Just as we say that, Hulkenberg goes fastest with a 1:18.6 to jump ahead of the McLaren. It’s still 0.6 down on the Red Bull Renault time that Ricciardo set yesterday on the same tyre, but encouraging stuff from the Enstone team.
11:00 – Well, this is interesting. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg has just jumped to P2, just 0.011 down on Vandoorne’s time. Both drivers set their times on the HyperSoft tyre, meaning that the Renault and the McLaren-Renault have set virtually identical laptimes on the same tyres at the top. Works team vs. customer this year?
10:30 – In case you’re wondering, Sebastian Vettel is driving the Ferrari again today. It’s been a manic week for him, having driven most of yesterday and all of Tuesday as well. Kimi Raikkonen wasn’t well yesterday, meaning that he sat out a decent chunk of the day. He’s in the car for the full day on Friday, and that will be his sole chance to get some proper mileage under his belt – out of all the full time drivers this season, he has the least amount of testing mileage completed.
Today is #Seb5’s final testing day, busy schedule ahead. #F1Testing pic.twitter.com/nYUB4WUKop
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) March 8, 2018
10:00 – Quite a busy first hour of running, we’ve had times from everyone bar Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber at this point.
The majority of the times set so far are on Soft tyres, although leading the way at the moment is Stoffel Vandoorne for McLaren. He has a 1:18.8 on the board, set on the HyperSofts. McLaren had a disastrous day on Wednesday after Alonso’s mechanical troubles early doors, meaning that they are keen to rack up mileage today. Vandoorne is already up to 28 laps completed.
Sebastian Vettel is P2 at the moment, with his best time a 1:19.6. Max Verstappen is currently P3 for Red Bull, a 1:20.0 his best time so far, set on the Soft tyre.
No rakes this time, @HulkHulkenberg back out for more #RSspirit #F1Testing pic.twitter.com/vrBinhowLf
— Renault Sport F1 (@RenaultSportF1) March 8, 2018
09:00 – Similar weather conditions greeting the drivers this morning at Circuit de Catalunya, with a brisk air temperature of 10 degrees right now, and a track temperature in the mid-teens.
Driving this morning are:
- Mercedes – Valtteri Bottas
- Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel
- Red Bull Racing – Max Verstappen
- Force India – Sergio Perez
- Williams – Robert Kubica
- Renault – Nico Hulkenberg
- Toro Rosso – Pierre Gasly
- Haas – Kevin Magnussen
- McLaren – Stoffel Vandoorne
- Sauber – Marcus Ericsson