Bottas ends Wednesday on top but Vettel’s speed has Ferrari confident

Vettel fast on harder rubber
Vettel fast on harder rubber

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas topped the third day of Formula 1 testing at Barcelona, but Sebastian Vettel's pace in the Ferrari on two levels harder Pirelli tires brought smiles to the Ferrari faces.

Bottas posted a best lap of 1m19.705s in the morning session using ultra-soft rubber and Vettel lapped just 0.247s slower using the soft-compound Pirellis during the afternoon. The Super-soft compound falls between the ultras and softs.

Vettel spent much of the day running on medium-compound Pirellis, but bolted on softs for one run in the afternoon before returning to mediums.

Ride-buyer Lance Stroll crashed his Williams for the 2nd straight day. After his late-day spin on Tuesday and another off just shy of the lunch break earlier on Wednesday, the 18-year-old Canadian caused a third stoppage of the week when he went off and hit the barriers exiting Turn 5, damaging the front end of the Williams FW40.

Lewis Hamilton performed a full race simulation after taking over from Bottas for the afternoon, sticking to medium and soft tires and setting a best time of 1m22.175s on the latter compound.

Fernando Alonso in his Honda-powered MCL32 turned a 1m22.598s, left him 2.893s shy of Bottas' morning effort on the same tire, which means McLaren is out to lunch again in 2017.

DAY 3 RESULTS:

POS DRIVER CAR/ENGINE TIME BEHIND LAPS TIRES
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes/Mercedes 1m19.705s 0.000s 75 Ultra Soft
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari/Ferrari 1m19.952s 0.247s 139 Soft
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m21.153s 1.448s 70 Soft
4 Jolyon Palmer Renault/Renault 1m21.396s 1.691s 51 Soft
5 Nico Hulkenberg Renault/Renault 1m21.791s 2.086s 42 Soft
6 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m21.824s 2.119s 126 Super Soft
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m22.118s 2.413s 56 Soft
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes/Mercedes 1m22.175s 2.470s 95 Soft
9 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m22.351s 2.646s 98 Soft
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m22.598s 2.893s 72 Ultra Soft
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m23.540s 3.835s 32 Soft
12 Alfonso Celis Force India/Mercedes 1m23.568s 3.863s 71 Soft
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m23.952s 4.247s 31 Medium

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