Leclerc Keeps Ferrari on Top as Gasly Crashes Out


After Sebastian Vettel topped the first day of pre-season F1 testing yesterday, new Ferrari recruit Charles Leclerc kept the Italian team at the top of the timesheets, finishing three tenths of a second clear of McLaren rookie Lando Norris.

The session came to an early end for Pierre Gasly, however, when the new Red Bull Racing driver lost control of his RB15 and spun into the barriers. The French driver had spend most of the afternoon on short, data-gathering runs but as the final hour of the session neared he embarked on a quick run. However, after setting a personal best in the second sector, Gasly lost the rear of the car at the exit of Turn 10 and slid off into the barriers.

Though the damage to the rear of his car appeared minimal, his team halted running for the day to begin repairs.

Leclerc, meanwhile, had a trouble-free day and was soon into the groove in the morning session and after 90 minutes had worked his way down to a P1 time of 1:19.172s on C2 Pirelli tyres.

An hour later and the Monegasque driver emerged on the C3 compound used by Vettel to set his day one benchmark. Leclerc maximised the extra grip from the yellow banded tyre and immediately moved further ahead of the field with a time of 1:18.247. The lap, within a tenth of a second of Vettel’s day one best, remained the benchmark for the rest of the day. He posted a total of 157 laps.

Norris, meanwhile, waited until late in the day to log his best lap. The rookie Briton mirrored the day one efforts of team-mate Carlos Sainz and bolted on a set of C4 tyres late in the session to finish the day on 1:18.553s, 0.306 back from Leclerc’s time. Norris also completed 104 laps across his first day at the wheel of the McLaren MCL34.

Kevin Magnussen took P3 for Haas with a time of 1:19.206 but a problem with his seat restricted his running. Reserver driver Pietro Fittipaldi took over in the last hour of running but completed just four laps.

Fourth place on the timesheet went to Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon. The rookie driver who finished third in last year’s F2 championship behind Norris and champion and new Williams driver George Russell had an unfortunate start to his F1 career, spinning within seconds of the session starting, but once he got jump and running properly the Thai-registered driver enjoyed a solid opening day.

Albon ploughed through 132 laps of the Barcelona track and in the afternoon edged past Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi with a time of 1:19.301 set on C4 tyres. Giovinazzi racked up 101 laps to be the fourth and final driver to log a day two century.

As with the opening day of testing Mercedes split running between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, with defending champion Hamilton at the wheel in the morning. The team once again focused on long-run pace, with Bottas ending the day sixth while Hamilton finished in P10.

Gasly took seventh place before his spin, finishing ahead of the Renault pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian’s morning running was briefly interrupted by a rear wing failure. Behind them Lance Stroll finished ninth on his debut for Racing Point after moving from Williams.

2019 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test 1, Day 2
1. Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:18.247s 157 laps
2. Lando Norris McLaren 1:18.553s 104 laps
3. Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:19.206s 59 laps
4. Alexander Albon Toro Rosso 1:19.301s 132 laps
5. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo C38 1:19.312s 101 laps
6. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:19.535s 89 laps
7. Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 1:19.814s 92 laps
8. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:19.837s 95 laps
9. Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:19.886s 28 laps*
10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.928s 74 laps
11. Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:20.433s 79 laps
12. Pietro Fittipaldi Haas F1 1:21.849 13 laps

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