Mercedes’ ownership of P1 continued at the Circuit de Catalunya as Valtteri Bottas pumped in the quickest time on the first day of the in-season test. The Finn’s 1:15.511 was just over a tenth slower than his pole position on Saturday; albeit today’s time was posted on C5s today vs C3s last weekend.
Charles Leclerc finished 2nd for Ferrari, 1.422s adrift of Bottas. His best time was on the C2 compound as Ferrari focused on the harder tyres in the Pirelli range.
Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Gasly, Sainz, Sainz, Fittipaldi, Yelloly, Vettel and Norris were covered by less than a second from positions 3 to 10. Perez, Ilott and Latifi completed the order on the opening day.
Vettel and Perez did tyre testing for Pirelli – and they completed an impressive 251 laps between them during the day.
On the 2019 tyres, Latifi did 133 laps in the Williams, two more than Bottas and Leclerc. Kvyat, Gasly, Fittipaldi and Yelloly also broke the 100-lap barrier.
There were two red flags during the day. Callum Illott hit the barriers at turn 3 in the early stages of the afternoon session and that ended his day with only 41 laps completed in the Alfa Romeo. Pierre Gasly stopped on the pit straight later in the afternoon after putting 118 laps on the board.
Testing continues tomorrow at the Spanish circuit.
1) Bottas 1:15.511 (C5)
2) Leclerc 1:16.933 (C2)
3) Kvyat 1:17.679 (C4)
4) Hulkenberg 1:18.051 (C3)
5) Gasly 1:18.140 (C3)
6) Sainz 1:18.263 (C2)
7) Fittipaldi (Haas) 1:18.326 (Prototype)
8) Yelloly (Force India) 1:18.361 (C5)
9) Vettel 1:18.425 (Pirelli testing)
10) Norris 1:18.567 (C3)
11) Perez 1:19.719 (Pirelli testing)
12) Ilott (Alfa Romeo) 1:19.819 (C2)
13) Latifi (Williams) 1:20.670 (C2)