2018 F1: Hamilton sets pace on final day of first pre-testing

    Red Bull face a troublesome end to the first F1 pre-season test, with Verstappen only putting in 35 laps on day four.

    Published On Mar 02, 2018 01:01:00 PM

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    2018 F1: Hamilton sets pace on final day of first pre-testing

    Lewis Hamilton topped the final day of the opening 2018 Formula 1 pre-season test at Barcelona for Mercedes. The world champion used medium tyres to demote McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne from the top of the order, the Belgian having set the pace with a sequence of runs on hypersofts shortly after the track dried.

    Hamilton had briefly moved ahead of Vandoorne earlier in the afternoon, but he had that lap taken away for missing the final chicane and finally took over at the head of the order 45 minutes later. Vandoorne's time on the softest tyre, set following a flurry of activity as everybody switched to slicks, was good enough to hold on for second on the day, half a second down on Hamilton.

    Sebastian Vettel was third fastest with a lap on soft tyres - the compound he used for most of the dry running - while Kevin Magnussen put Haas fourth with a series of runs on the supersoft tyre.

    After completing 110 laps Vandoorne handed over the McLaren to Fernando Alonso for the final few hours, and the Spaniard added another 51 laps to the 62 he had completed prior to the final day and rounded out the top five.

    In total, 15 of F1's 20 drivers were in action at some point during the day, with Renault, Williams, Mercedes and Sauber all joining McLaren in giving track time to both of their drivers. That was because the weather was much improved, despite a wet start. Temperatures were much higher - around 13-15C for most of the day - allowing teams to begin the process of making up for the time lost to the cold weather on the first three days of this test.

    One team not able to add significant mileage was Red Bull. Max Verstappen spent most of the morning in the garage. He completed 35 laps, mostly on the medium tyre, and shortly after switching to the soft compound and setting two personal best sectors, he brought out the red flags with a trip into the gravel at Turn 12.

    The car was returned to the Red Bull garage, with mechanics carefully trying to hide its floor from the view of cameras, but Verstappen did not return to action before the chequered flag and ended the day with him as the ninth quickest.

    Williams' timing of its driver change meant Sergey Sirotkin was the only driver not to set a time on slick tyres, leaving him adrift at the bottom of the order behind the two Saubers.

    F1 teams now have a four-day break from track action before the final pre-season test starts at the same venue on March 6.

    Day 4 test times

    POS

    DRIVER

    CAR

    TIME

    GAP

    LAPS

    1

    Lewis Hamilton

    Mercedes

    1m19.333s

    -

    69

    2

    Stoffel Vandoorne

    McLaren/Renault

    1m19.854s

    0.521s

    110

    3

    Sebastian Vettel

    Ferrari

    1m20.241s

    0.908s

    120

    4

    Kevin Magnussen

    Haas/Ferrari

    1m20.317s

    0.984s

    96

    5

    Fernando Alonso

    McLaren/Renault

    1m20.929s

    1.596s

    51

    6

    Carlos Sainz

    Renault

    1m20.940s

    1.607s

    60

    7

    Lance Stroll

    Williams/Mercedes

    1m21.142s

    1.809s

    54

    8

    Sergio Perez

    Force India/Mercedes

    1m21.973s

    2.640s

    65

    9

    Max Verstappen

    Red Bull/Renault

    1m22.058s

    2.725s

    35

    10

    Pierre Gasly

    Toro Rosso/Honda

    1m22.134s

    2.801s

    147

    11

    Nico Hulkenberg

    Renault

    1m22.507s

    3.174s

    49

    12

    Valtteri Bottas

    Mercedes

    1m22.789s

    3.456s

    60

    13

    Charles Leclerc

    Sauber/Ferrari

    1m22.808s

    3.475s

    59

    14

    Marcus Ericsson

    Sauber/Ferrari

    1m23.825s

    4.492s

    79

    15

    Sergey Sirotkin

    Williams/Mercedes

    1m31.979s

    12.646s

    47

     

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