Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap of the Barcelona Formula 1 pre-season test so far in the day three-morning session. As Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari suffered a malfunction with the engines.
Vettel had completed what then a field-high 40 laps by the time he stopped just after two and a half hours of running at Turn 12, pulling out the test’s second red flag.
The session halted for 20 minutes as the knocked SF1000 was wrapped in several blankets and shipped back to the garage of Ferrari, from which it would not return before the flag was tested.
Ferrari also announced that it will install a replacement engine for the afternoon in Vettel’s car. While the power unit that started the day will go to its Maranello base for review.
When that red flag flew, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen was quickest with a 1m17.636 C2 time. But then Bottas accelerated to a 1m16.863s — the fastest test lap at that point — soon after the green flag started running again.
When applying the softest compound-the C5-with just under an hour left and reporting a 1m15.732s. As he whittled it down to a 1m16.417s on C4s.
The Rest Of The Session:
Bottas ‘ run was almost half a second faster than Vettel’s average pace from the 2019 pre-season test. It was just three tenths short of last year’s Mercedes driver’s own lap record.
His lap coincides with Williams coming to a halt on the start/finish straight from Nicholas Latifi. This triggered the third red-flag time of the session.
Unlike Vettel, for the rest of the session, Latifi did not return. The pair making up the ranking at ninth and 10th.
The session started again with 50 minutes to go. But there no challenge to Bottas ‘ time and he approached the lunch break accordingly as the pacesetter. With Lewis Hamilton scheduled to race the W11 in the afternoon.