Reigning F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton went quickest on the final day of the first pre-season test ahead of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 campaign, beating Stoffel Vandoorne by half a second.
After a wet morning during which Mercedes’ W09 challenger was driven by Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton took over in the afternoon and used medium tyres to post a time of 1:19.333. That 0.521s clear of Vandoorne’s best which had been set on Pirelli’s new hypersoft tyres, one of seven dry compounds of offer this year.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third quickest with a time of 1:20.214 set on soft tyres, while Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was eight hundredths of a second further back in fourth place with a lap set on supersoft tyres.
While most drivers took the circuit in the wet conditions in the morning, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was a notable absentee, with the Renault-powered team choosing to wait until the track dried before sending the Dutchman out.
But when he did take to the track Verstappen’s outing was a stop-start affair as mechanical gremlins affected his progress and then, later on, he suffered an off at Turn 12 which left him beached in the gravel. The car was recovered but Verstappen sat out the remainder of the session and completed just 35 laps all day.
After limited mileage in the early part of the week, McLaren enjoyed a solid final day in Barcelona. Second-placed Vandoorne handed over to team-mate Fernando Alonso in the afternoon and the Spaniard added a further 51 laps to Vandoorne’s 110 for the day’s biggest team lap total.
However, the individual honours went to Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, with the French driver posting a total of 147 laps to round out a enviably reliable test for the Honda-powered team.
Formula 1 Pre-Season Test 1, Barcelona – Day Four
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.333 69
2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:19.854 0.521 110
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.241 0.908 120
4 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:20.317 0.984 96
5 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:20.929 1.596 51
6 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:20.940 1.607 60
7 Lance Stroll Williams 1:21.142 1.809 54
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:21.973 2.640 65
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:22.058 2.725 35
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:22.134 2.801 147
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:22.507 3.174 49
12 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:22.789 3.456 60
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:22.808 3.475 59
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:23.825 4.492 79
15 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:31.979 12.646 47