Charles Leclerc set impressive pace to go quickest on the penultimate day of F1 pre-season testing in Barcelona, with the Ferrari driver beating Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon by more than six tenths of a second, with McLarn’s Lando Norris fourth fastest.
Pierre Gasly took fourth place on the timesheet but the Red Bull driver’s session ended midway through the afternoon session when he crashed heavily in Turn 9.
Gasly emerged unhurt from the incident but his RB15 was severely damaged in the heavy impact. “I’m fine. A little bit shaken, but generally OK,” he said afterwards. “I made a mistake in Turn 9 and lost the car. It was a pretty big crash, but I’m more feeling sorry for the guys in the garage. They have quite a long night ahead but the most important thing is that Max is back in the car tomorrow.”
Leclerc’s best time of the day arrived in the morning session as Ferrari began to focus on performance, with the Monegasque driver setting his lap of 1:16.231s effort on Pirelli’s softest C5 tyre.
The Ferrari driver was one of four mean to eclipses the pre-season benchmark of 1:17.144 set yesterday by McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
Albon’s best time, also set in the morning, left him +0.651 adrift of Leclerc, while Norris ended the day two tenths of a second further back.
Gasly also bypassed Wednesday’s benchmark by using a set of C5 tyres to get down to a time of 1:17.091. Prior to today’s runs, Red Bull has mostly run its new car on the C3 Pirelli.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg ended up fifth and sixth on the timesheet, while Lance Stroll finished seventh for the Racing Point team. The Silverstone-based team has struggled for mileage in this spell of testing but today Stroll managed to break the century mark, posting 103 laps in total. The Canadian driver then brought out the red flags when he stopped on the4 back straight with an hour left on the clock.
Antonio Giovinazzi was eighth for Alfa Rome, with Haas’s Romain Grosjean ninth.
The top 10 was rounded out by Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes once again chose to put in long runs. The Briton’s best time of 1:18.097 was delivered on the C2 tyre, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished in P14 on the C3 compound. The pair were split by Williams George Russell in 12thand Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.
2019 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test 2, Day 3
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:16.231s 138
2 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1:16.882s +0.651 118
3 Lando Norris McLaren 1:17.084s +0.853 84
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1:17.091s +0.860 65
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:17.204s +0.973 65
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:17.496s +1.265 73
7 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:17.556s +1.325 103
8 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:17.639s +1.408 71
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:17.854s +1.623 16
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.097s +1.866 85
11 George Russell Williams 1:18.130s +1.899 140
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:18.199s +1.968 53
13 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:18.862s +2.631 96