Testing – Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo set a new fastest time in pre-season testing on Wednesday morning, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
With the weather troubles of last week now firmly in the past, Catalunya was bright, brisk and sunny as the lights turned green for the beginning of Wednesday’s testing. The action started to come quite fast, with early times from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton taking top spot in the first hour.
McLaren’s morning quickly unraveled, though, with Alonso’s car coming to a smoky stop at Turn 7, bringing out the red flags to allow for his car to be safely recovered. The track also needed cleaning up with concrete dust used to soak up spilled fluids. McLaren later confirmed an oil leak had caused the stoppage, resulting in an engine change needed. As a result, it will probably be mid-afternoon before the Spaniard can make it back on track.
Lewis Hamilton then set a 1:18.9 on the Medium tyre to set the fastest time of the day, before lowering it to a 1:18.752 on the SuperSofts.
That was until Daniel Ricciardo strapped on the HyperSoft tyres – the new Pirelli compound for this year. While we have seen the teams tentatively try the tyres at different points throughout testing, this was the first serious attempt from a team at a fast lap using the tyres. He unleashed a 1:18.3, with Hamilton upping the ante before lunch to set a 1:18.400. With no official lunch break hour, and several teams withdrawing to take their own breaks, Ricciardo continued for a last flourish – a 1:18.047 on the HyperSoft to go 0.3 clear at the top at the halfway point of the day.
- Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:18.047s 79 laps
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas 1:18.400s 75 laps
- Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari 1:19.541s 68 laps
- Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:19.856s 47 laps
- Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault Sport 1:20.042s 68 laps
- Romain Grosjean Haas 1:20.237s 51 laps
- Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing 1:20.349s 60 laps
- Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team 1:20.805s 53 laps
- Brendon Hartley Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda 1:20.834s 53 laps
- Charles Leclerc Alfa Romeo Sauber 1:21.110s 71 laps
The 1:18.047 is the BEST LAP at the Circuit with the current layout!!!! 😍😍😍 #F1Testing
— Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (@Circuitcat_eng) March 7, 2018