The two days of testing on the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona ended with Mercedes setting the fastest times and most laps accumulated. Russian Formula 2 pilot Nikita Mazepin came in less than 3 tenths of a second behind the time of Fin Valtteri Bottas who won the pole position just 3 days before.
The third fastest time was set by Charles Leclerc, over a second and four tenths behind Bottas, but on Hard Compound tires, a sign that Ferrari did not want to aim for fast lap times, but more wanted to check new components to ensure that wind tunnel data is similar to what is read from the data on the circuit. The Maranello team also deployed the second car with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel but with a strict program in collaboration with Pirelli to test new tire compositions for the next season. Sebastian Vettel finished the first day in fifth place using unmarked Pirelli tires.
The most spectacular incident was the accident of Callum Ilott, one of the junior drivers in the Ferrari Driver Academy who lost control of the Alfa Romeo at 200 km/h at the exit of turn 3. He said the incident was bizarre because they failed to find the issue that caused him to lose control. His accident stopped the session as it caused a red flag and meant that the Italian team had to settle for only 41 laps on the first day of testing.
The rest of the ranking was tight with Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso, Renault in the 1:17 lap times and Haas, Red Bull, McLaren, Racing Point and Williams doing 1:18 lap times. Pierre Gasly tested on the first day with Red Bull to try to find a solution for the weaker development during the early stages of the season, but the Frenchman said his aggressive driving style is why he is not in sync with the Red Bull.
Williams, who had two days without a lot of trouble, managed to put in 225 tours, a sign that the reliability is on their side but with a lack of performance. Many rumours point to a change of Robert Kubica with Nicholas Latifi, the Formula 2 leader, after Robert Kubica seemingly can not keep up with his teammate George Russell. But so far these are just rumours.
The next Formula 1 meeting will be in Monaco on the occasion of the most important Grand Prix in the calendar. Red Bulls are quoted as favourites after having dominated the queen race many times during the last seasons. The Grand Prix of Monaco will take place on May 26, starting at 15:10 (CET)
- Source: GP24 Author: Radu Camarascu
- Photocredit: Formula 1 World Championship
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