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Mercedes on top as pre-season testing comes to a close

Mercedes on top as pre-season testing comes to a close

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Mercedes on top as pre-season testing comes to a close

Mercedes on top as pre-season testing comes to a close

Valtteri Bottas tops the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing on a day that saw teams loosen the shackles on their performance.

Mercedes had already recorded the fastest time of pre-season testing overall, but Bottas set a 1:16.196 to go fastest on the final day. The Silver Arrows had focused much of their efforts on long runs as they looked to improve on their less than optimum reliability, but a late effort saw Bottas top the timesheets.

Max Verstappen also left it late to show what Red Bull were capable of. Setting his fastest time inside the final hour of testing, the Dutchman was just +0.073 shy of the time of the Mercedes.

Daniel Ricciardo's effort from Friday morning remained strong enough to keep him third, +0.080 behind, while his new Renault teammate, Esteban Ocon, could only manage sixth, +0.237 off the pace.

Charles Leclerc sits fourth for Ferrari, his efforts sparking hope that Ferrari may not be as far off the pace as had originally been feared, with Lewis Hamilton fifth.

Leclerc also clocked up a massive 178-laps on the final day of testing, more than any single driver has ever completed in pre-season testing on a single day.

Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz focused on long runs in the cooler condition for Racing Point and McLaren while George Russell and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten for Williams and AlphaTauri.

Haas spent a lot of time in the garage in the afternoon, calling time on testing early after problems restricted Kevin Magnussen to just 27-laps.

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