Barcelona Final Test Day 2:00pm Update

Vettel quick, but Hamilton quicker if he would stop sandbagging
Vettel quick, but Hamilton quicker if he would stop sandbagging

Sebastian Vettel set a new benchmark time of F1 pre-season testing as he kept Ferrari on top of the final morning of action in Barcelona.

Late in the morning Vettel turned up the wick on his SF90 and set a 1m16.221s during the final hour of the session to move to the top of the timesheets on his return to action for Ferrari following a big crash on Wednesday.

The four-time world champion posted his quickest lap – on Pirelli’s softest C5 compound – following a flurry of short runs, with his time eclipsing the previous benchmark Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc managed on Thursday.

Having spent the majority of pre-season testing sandbagging, Mercedes finally provided a glimpse of its one-lap potential with Valtteri Bottas second-quickest.

The Finn recorded Mercedes’ fastest lap of the winter so far on the C5 compound with a 1m16.561s as he ended up three tenths adrift of Vettel’s session-leading time, completed 71 laps before Lewis Hamilton took over after the lunch break to conclude the reigning world champions’ test program.

Hamilton has thus far set an incredible time of 1m17.740s on the rock hard C2 tires. If and when he straps on a set of C5s, which are about 1.5s faster than the C2 tire, Hamilton will be at about a 1m15.8s time. Mercedes does not want to show their full hand….yet.

Slowest of all is the Paddy Lowe designed Williams, a full 1-second slower than the next slowest car despite being on C5 tires

2:00pm Times in Barcelona

1 Vettel Ferrari C5 1m16.221s
2 Bottas Mercedes C5 1m16.561s
3 Kvyat Toro Rosso C5 1m16.898s
4 Sainz McLaren C5 1m16.913s
5 Grosjean Haas C5 1m17.076s
6 Ricciardo Renault C5 1m17.114s
7 Raikkonen Alfa Romeo C4 1m17.239s
8 Verstappen Red Bull C3 1m17.709s
9 Hamilton Mercedes C2 1m17.740s
10 Perez Racing Point C5 1m17.791s
11 Magnussen Haas Dev 1m17.947s
12 Kubica Williams C5 1m18.993s

C1=Hardest Tires
C5=Softest Tires

* The C2 is between 0.8s and 1s faster than the C1
* The C3 is 0.7s faster than the C2
* The C4 is 0.6s faster than the C3
* The C5 is 0.6s faster than the C4

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