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Vettel narrowly leads Hamilton after final day of testing

  • Published on 01 Mar 2019 18:00
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Vettel has topped the timesheets at the final pre-season test day, however his day was cut short by an electrical problem.

Vettel pulled to the side of the track with two and a half hours to go in the session, and Ferrari soon confirmed that the problem would not be fixed on time for him to be sent back out. 

Despite the premature end, Vettel managed to rack up 100 laps, with his fastest time reading a 1:16.221. However, his lap was just 0.003s faster than Lewis Hamilton's who ended the session in second place.

Valtteri Bottas was third, as he handled driving duties for the Silver Arrows this morning. He headed Nico Hulkenberg, with Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat the only other drivers who posted a sub 1:17 lap time.

Romain Grosjean, who drove the morning session, was seventh for Haas. The team's day ended poorly, as Kevin Magnussen stopped in the final minutes. Magnussen rounded out the top ten, behind Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull's day was hampered by a gearbox problem, with Max Verstappen clocking just 29 laps for the energy drink squad. The Dutchman was eleventh, ahead of Sergio Perez and Robert Kubica who rounded out the timesheets.

ES Circuit de Catalunya - 01 March 2019

Photos Barcelona, March 1, 2019

Replies (8)

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  • I am very confused by the results of this year's pre-season testing. I feel by now I'd usually have some pretty clear indication of who it hot and who isn't. Right now, it seems pretty clear Ferrari is hot. Other than that, it's unclear.
    Mercedes: where in stealth mode until today when they showed some pace. However their reliability is as good as ever

    Red Bull: didn't post impressive times. Reliability was average. But did seem to show potential based upon speculation about fuel loads during those fast laps

    Renault: It seemed to me more of the same. Very middle-of-the-field kind of performance. Didn't impress with times or reliability

    McLaren: They are vastly improved from last year on reliability. I think they're third (or whereabouts) on most laps completed. Their lap times where not too shabby either. Clearly not top 3, but maybe top of the midfield? That would be something.

    Alfa Romeo: Reliable. Some fast times at the beginning. The rest of the time they seemed focused on their program, not too bothered about setting times. I guess they could be a dark horse

    Haas: I heard a lot of people talking up their performance. Maybe I missed something. but so far they seemed to me to have the most technical issues, and didn't really impress with times

    Racing Point: Didn't impress, but I never worry with them. They will be in the midfield, probably close to the top of it. These people amaze me every year with their development. I'm excited to see what they turn up with at Melbourne

    Williams: No comment

    Toro Rosso: They seemed both reliable and fast. At times more solid than Red Bull. Please let it be so. It would be great to see Toro Rosso ahead of Red Bull and maybe see some chaos associate with that.

    What are your thoughts?

    • + 1
    • Mar 1 2019 - 21:47
    • Pretty good summary in my estimation. I put up 'my' analysis under the other testing summary post. It looks to me like more midfield teams vying for P3 at about .6 second behind the front two.

      • + 0
      • Mar 1 2019 - 21:57
    • "Excellent deduction, Jill".

      • + 0
      • Mar 1 2019 - 22:11
    • Whatever the case, it was great to see a very compressed timesheet. If in reality the midfield is only 4 or 6 tenths off the Mercedes and Ferrari, we'll have a spectacular season.

      • + 1
      • Mar 2 2019 - 00:35
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 408

      We all 2nd guessed a Merc would pop in at the end and lay down (almost) the winning hand. Does seem strange not to push the cat to the (maybe) limits until the last session and not really have a prolonged stress test to estimate the reliability at top pace. At +.003 there’s nothing in it is there. The downside for me is Max at + 1.4 but on a slower tyre (phycologically a poor move? ) and McL at only + 0.7 so hats off to McL where they have come from,. Regetably if TR dont come good, forget the top 4 and just watch the rest. If Sky could be convinced to only cover the mid-field racing it might almost be worth paying to watch a race ;-)

      • + 0
      • Mar 2 2019 - 00:36
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 408

      Hmm, it’s getting late.... “if RB don’t come good”

      • + 0
      • Mar 2 2019 - 00:37
    • Im all for either, Roger! Honestly, I'd love to see STR at P4 or above, and I'd be thrilled to see them beat their big sis. In part because I like STR more than the main team in many regards, in part because it would mean that we've come to a point where a team with significantly lower funds can "git gud".

      • + 0
      • Mar 2 2019 - 07:27
  • f1ski

    Posts: 415

    testing is like qualifying. fast in isolation but we talking about racing.I am curious to see which fro nt wing design will provide stability in close quarters and if one design upsets the trailing car more. I said it in another comment I miss 20000 rpm. I miss real racing with refueling which allows strategy to best utilize your race car.

    • + 0
    • Mar 2 2019 - 01:58

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