Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – Charles Leclerc has picked up where Sebastian Vettel left off on the opening day by finishing at the top of the times on Day 2 in Barcelona.
Ferrari enjoyed a comprehensive opening day of testing on Monday, with Sebastian Vettel finishing well clear of the rest of the field and also clocking up the highest mileage of any of the cars. It was more of the same for the Scuderia on Tuesday, as Charles Leclerc marked his first official day of duty as a Ferrari driver by finishing at top of the timing screens. His best time, like Vettel’s, was set on the C3 tyres during the morning session and he put up a 1:18.247. This time was less than a tenth behind the best time Sebastian put in on Monday. Like Vettel, he put in another mammoth lapcount as he finished the day with 157 tours of the track.
Lando Norris was next up for McLaren as the young rookie had a strong start to his official F1 career by finishing P2. His best time, set right at the end of the session, was 1:18.553 on the red walled C4 tyres and he put in 102 laps in total.
Adding to Ferrari’s display of power was the rapidity of their customer teams. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen finished P3 with a morning time of 1:19.234 on the C3 going unbeaten for the remainder of the day. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Haas as a seat fitting issue in the afternoon meant test driver Pietro Fittipaldi officially took over the seat for the final ninety minutes of the day. He emerged on track with less than half an hour remaining and finished at the bottom of the times.haas completed 72 laps of the track in total between the pair of them.
The other rookie on the day was Alexander Albon, getting what was only his second opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car. He blotted his copybook by immediately spinning the Toro Rosso within seconds of going out on track in the morning session and forcing a session stoppage, but made up for it afterwards by putting in 124 laps in total – two Grands Prix distances. His best time of 1:19.301 was good enough for P4 and he showed no signs of a lack of match fitness by putting in that best time right at the end.
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi finished P5 and just a tenth behind Magnussen’s best time. However, he used the slightly softer C4 tyre in order to achieve his best laptime of 1:19.312. Overall, another good day for Alfa as they clocked up 99 laps in total.
Valtteri Bottas was next up on another heads-down sort of day for Mercedes. The Finn did a best time of 1:19.535 on the C3 tyre and did 87 laps. Added to Lewis Hamilton’s morning tally of 74 as well, Mercedes did a total of 161. Hamilton finished P10 in the times.
Pierre Gasly was P7 but lost valuable running time in the afternoon when he crashed his Red Bull while on a personal best lap. Pushing through Sector 3 of the lap, he lost the rear of the RB15 through Turn 11 and collided rearwards with the barrier. He was uninjured and clambered out but the car was too badly damaged to take any further part in the session, meaning Red Bull missed out on the final 90 minutes of track time. Prior to this, Gasly’s best time of 1:19.814 was set on the C3 tyre during the morning session.
Nico Hulkenberg, taking over from Daniel Ricciardo for the afternoon, had a better session than the Australian and finished P8 with 95 laps on the board.
Daniel Ricciardo was P9, having taken part in the morning session only. His track time was limited due to a rear wing failure, as covered in our morning report.
Lance Stroll finished P11 for Racing Point with a best time of 1:20.433 on the C3 tyres, and 79 laps in total.
Pietro Fittipaldi managed some late laptimes to do a 1:21.845 and 14 laps.