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Mercedes in trouble as Ferrari go fastest

Mercedes in trouble as Ferrari go fastest

F1 News

Mercedes in trouble as Ferrari go fastest

Mercedes in trouble as Ferrari go fastest

Sebastian Vettel ends the penultimate day of pre-season testing at the top of the timesheets as Mercedes suffer reliability problems resulting in considerably limited running.

Sebastian Vettel completed set both his and Ferrari's fastest lap of pre-season testing in the morning session with a 1:16.841. The time, set on the softest C5 compound tyre, only served to fuel concerns that the Scuderia are off the pace of Mercedes further, with the time being over a second away from the fastest Mercedes time of testing.

Pierre Gasly also completed a qualifying simulation for AlphaTauri to go second and just +0.225 behind Vettel, while Lance Stroll used the medium C3 tyre to go third for Racing Point.

While Ferrari struggled with a seeming lack of front running pace, Mercedes struggled with reliability.

Valtteri Bottas saw his morning session ended early with what appeared to be a power unit problem and, after losing the first hour of the afternoon session, Lewis Hamilton stopped on circuit after 14-laps.

Coming out of turn-five, Hamilton's Mercedes power unit shut down, preventing the reigning champion from shifting down the gearbox and leaving him stuck in third gear. The team later confirmed that an 'oil-pressure anomaly' was to blame for the shut down.

The Silver Arrows would not return to the track and ended the day with Bottas in seventh and Hamilton slowest, without setting a representative time.

The afternoon session focussed on long runs with all the drivers taking part completing race simulations.

Again, these runs showed the Racing Point could run at a similar pace to Ferrari, the 'Pink Mercedes' proving to have the pace.

Very few fast times were set in the afternoon with only Lando Norris setting a time of note to go fifth for McLaren.

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