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Mercedes ominously dominant in first pre-season test

Mercedes ominously dominant in first pre-season test



Mercedes ominously dominant in first pre-season test

Mercedes ominously dominant in first pre-season test

Mercedes ended the first pre-season Formula 1 test with a dominant one-two finish.

Valtteri Bottas, in particular, posted an eye-catching fastest lap on the final day on Friday at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya as Mercedes laid down a marker in their bid for seven consecutive titles.

Although Bottas used the softest of the five compounds made available by Pirelli for testing with the C5, he offered a hint of the speed potential of his Mercedes W11 with a lap of one minute 15.732secs.

In context, the lap was half-a-second quicker than in testing at the track a year ago, and only three-tenths of a second behind the lap record he set with his pole position time of 1:15.406s in qualifying for last season's Spanish Grand Prix.

Bottas' time was further impressive as team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished 0.784s adrift on the same tyre.

Behind the Mercedes duo, it proved to be a battle between four drivers using the C4 soft compound, with Renault's Esteban Ocon edging out Lance Stroll in his Racing Point, AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat and Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo.

The quartet was covered by 0.667s, with Ocon 1.370s adrift of Bottas. Giovinazzi, meanwhile covered a day-high 152 laps, with Stroll the only other driver to clock up over a century of laps for the day with 116.

Max Verstappen then led another quartet of drivers on the C4 hard compound, racking up 86 laps during his morning stint to finish almost two seconds behind Bottas in his Red Bull.

The Dutchman was followed by AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, team-mate Alex Albon and Carlos Sainz in his McLaren, with the Spaniard 0.6s behind Verstappen.

After his minor accident late in the afternoon on Thursday, Haas' Romain Grosjean completed 48 laps on Friday, but was 2.648s behind Bottas on medium tyres.

After a power unit issue curtailed his morning session to 94 minutes and 40 laps, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel added a further 60 in the afternoon following an engine change, with the four-time champion 2.652s down on the mediums.

McLaren's Lando Norris was 14th, with Williams rookie Nicolas Latifi 3.272s back, with both on mediums.

Following an issue late in the morning session that saw Latifi stop on track with wisps of smoke emerging from the FW43, he only managed an additional 29 laps in the afternoon.

It was a sorry day for Kevin Magnussen as he clipped a wall after sliding off track in his Haas, an incident that ended his running for the day after just four laps.

Pre-season Testing Results – Friday 21 February
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas 65 Laps 1:15.732 C5
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas 73 Laps +0.784 C5
3 Esteban Ocon Renault 76 Laps +1.370 C4
4 Lance Stroll BWT Racing Point 116 Laps +1.606 C4
5 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia AlphaTauri 62 Laps +1.695 C4
6 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN 152 Laps +1.737 C5
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 93 Laps +1.842 C4
8 Max Verstappen Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 86 Laps +1.904 C2
9 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri 59 Laps +2.051 C4
10 Alex Albon Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 83 Laps +2.422 C2
11 Carlos Sainz McLaren 76 Laps +2.542 C2
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 48 Laps +2.648 C3
13 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 100 Laps +2.652 C3
14 Lando Norris McLaren 49 Laps +2.722 C3
15 Nicholas Latifi ROKiT Williams 72 Laps +3.272 C3
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 4 Laps +3.977 C2

C1 (Hardest)C2 (Hard)C3 (Medium)C4 (Soft)C5 (Softest)


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