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Ferrari begin to show their pace at pre-season testing

Ferrari begin to show their pace at pre-season testing

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Ferrari begin to show their pace at pre-season testing

Ferrari begin to show their pace at pre-season testing

Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest time on Thursday morning as Ferrari begin to show their pace in Formula 1 pre-season testing.

The morning session began in damp conditions. A rain shower during the night had left the track in conditions suitable for the intermediate tyres.

Very few drivers took to the track although Mercedes completed 15-laps of wet weather running with Valtteri Bottas behind the wheel. Despite track conditions improving, the kerbs still held a large amount of water and several drivers, including Bottas, were caught out by this.

Bottas was able to recover from the gravel without causing a red flag stoppage, but Antonio Giovinazzi and Max Verstappen both less fortunate.

Giovinazzi made heavy contact with the turn-three barrier, damaging his rear wing, while Verstappen spun into the turn-five gravel, only a minute after Bottas had made the same mistake, but dug his tyres into the gravel which required the recovery truck to be called into action.

As the clock ticked into the final hour, Sebastian Vettel, the Ferrari driver sitting at the top of the times with a 1:17.093, followed Bottas and Verstappen in going off-track at turn five.

Vettel had been pushing on the soft C4 compound tyre when getting on the power early and spinning the car. The German had only just set his fastest lap, a time that was also Ferrari's fastest lap of testing so far.

Claire Williams laments Mercedes power unit problemsRead more

Back at Mercedes, Bottas finished his morning session early after reporting a power unit problem with just 20-minutes remaining on the clock. With Williams also having problems with the Mercedes power unit, reliability will quickly be becoming a concern.

Late in the session, Vettel improved his time to a 1:16.841. The third fastest time of testing so far, it still shows Ferrari as being a second off the pace of Mercedes - Bottas previously setting a 1:15.732.

Lance Stroll continued the strong pace shown to date of Racing Point, ending the session in second with Nicholas Latifi in third for Williams and Lando Norris fourth for McLaren.

Verstappen and Bottas managed fifth and sixth ahead of Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly.

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