Ricciardo and Hamilton turn up wick on soft C4 tires

Daniel Ricciardo yesterday
Daniel Ricciardo yesterday

Times at noon in Barcelona on Day 4 of F1 preseason testing.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton have got their times down into the 1m17s range and ousted Ferrari's Charles Leclerc from the top of the charts, but they both set their time on soft C4 tires while Leclerc set his best time on hard C2 tires. This may be telling but as you can see below, Mercedes have been sandbagging big time. Full times below:

Times at Noon Day 4

1 Ricciardo Renault C4 1m17.913s
2 Hamilton Mercedes C4 1m17.977s
3 Leclerc Ferrari C2 1m18.475s
4 Grosjean Haas C3 1m18.893s
5 Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo C3 1m19.258s
6 Norris McLaren C3 1m19.702s
7 Albon Toro Rosso C4 1m19.755s
8 Stroll Racing Point C3 1m20.026s
9 Gasly Red Bull C3 1m20.481s
10 Kubica Williams C3 1m22.681s

C1 = hardest tires
C5 = softest tires

Proof Mercedes has been sandbagging

After two days of Formula 1 preseason testing, Renault are leading in the top speed stakes as Lando Norris recorded the top speed in the McLaren of 337 kph but it is pretty obvious that Ferrari and Mercedes, in particular, are yet to unleash their best.

In a report published on the official F1 website, stats Honda in second on 229 kph which was recorded by Max Verstappen on the first day of testing in Spain.

Notably, Mercedes were slowest at around 326 kph, suggesting that for now they are simply in cruise-mode and when they do crank it up they are likely to tickle the 340 kph and perhaps even break it.

Racing Point are also likely to benefit from the extra horses when they are made available, as the RP19 with Sergio Perez at the wheel looked like a handy piece of kit.

Ferrari is sure to have some added oomph in their bag of tricks and of course, it will be interesting to see what Honda’s ‘party mode’ has in store.

For now Renault… (make that their customer team McLaren) are fastest down the main straight, but that is likely to change in the forthcoming days.

Top Speeds - we all know Mercedes has the top speed, so it is obvious from this chart they are running their engine at reduced power
Top Speeds – we all know Mercedes has the most power, so it is obvious from this chart they are running their engine at reduced power

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