It was the final countdown! Pre-season testing for 2020 ended with the familiar sight of a Mercedes on top, courtesy of Valtteri Bottas.
The Finn also leaves Barcelona with the fastest time of testing for 2020, and here is how day six played out…
Day six timesheet:
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:16.196 79
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +0.073 45
3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +0.080 65
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.164 181
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.214 90
6 Esteban Ocon Renault +0.237 75
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point +0.438 154
8 Carlos Sainz McLaren +0.624 163
9 George Russell Williams +0.675 146
10 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +0.718 160
11 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team +0.841 86
12 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing +1.219 115
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team +1.299 29
14 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing +1.607 59
1800: And there we go, pre-season testing for 2020 finishes with that familiar sight – a Mercedes on top. Make sure to check out our report for all the key action from today, and we will see you very soon for the season-opener in Melbourne – in two weeks to be exact.
1751: After all that he lifted off on approach to the start/finish line.
1747: It doesn’t seem like he will settle for P2 – Verstappen is ready to go with a new set of C4s on his Red Bull.
1740: Verstappen sticks the middle finger up at Norris who was on the pit wall as he takes his place to do a practice start. All good fun…we hope.
1733: A better attempt there from Verstappen, really out of nowhere, but he is 0.073s shy of Bottas’ time.
1719: Verstappen was on for P1 there but made a total mess of the final turn.
1709: Leclerc is spotted in engine mode 1, the highest available to Ferrari, and he is on the C4s. A late glimpse of Ferrari’s true pace maybe?
1645: Bottas finds a fraction more time, 0.03s to be exact.
47 laps and counting… keep pushing VB! 👊
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) February 28, 2020
1635: We have a new leader – Bottas on the C5s takes P1 from Ricciardo by 0.05s with a 1:16.226.
1630: A strong 1:16.444 from Verstappen on the C3 tyre. That puts him into P5, 0.168s off his former team-mate Ricciardo at the top.
1623: Ocon takes that P4 spot from Bottas on his latest attempt, the Finn can’t respond but he is on the C4s, unlike Ocon on the C5s. We saw this morning that the difference between the compounds was about 0.6s.
1616: Bottas this time actually used the C4s for a flying lap and improves to P4, but he is two tenths down on Hamilton’s best effort from the morning.
1609: Ocon improves in all three sectors on the C5s to set a 1:16.7 and move up to P5.
1604: The clouds are very dark again around the track, but will any rain actually arrive?
1550: Bottas had a set of C4s on, but he went back into the pits. What a buzz kill.
1541: And out goes Verstappen on the C2 tyres.
1536: Verstappen is in the car, the tyres and going on and shortly the front wing will be too. Hopefully not much longer until he’s back out there.
1520: Verstappen is stuck in the garage at the moment – he has an issue with the brakes.
1516: Most drivers are still on their race sims out there, Esteban Ocon and Bottas are showing signs of shaping up for some quicker runs.
1451: Leclerc has now reached the 100-lap mark.
1442: Bottas comes out onto the track for the first time today, he is running the C3s.
1431: Leclerc so far has been 0.7s up on Perez during the race sims.
1420: Perez and Leclerc are both starting their race simulations. It will be interesting to see how close their times are.
1400: Away we go for the four-hour afternoon session to close pre-season testing for 2020.
1300: And that’s the final morning session of 2020 pre-season testing completed – Ricciardo is the man on top. Make sure to check out our report covering all the morning action and join us back here in an hour for the last afternoon session of the year.
1254: If it arrives it won’t affect this session though by the looks of it with six minutes to go.
1241: Oh heck that rain looks close.
1225: Hamilton takes another crack at Leclerc on new C5s but falls 0.05s short. No such issues for Ricciardo though who sets a 1:16.276. Oh hello Renault.
1212: Leclerc stretches his lead slightly. In what felt like a mini-qualifying Ricciardo briefly jumped up to P2 on the C5s, while Russell just behind was matching Leclerc’s first two sector times, but fell half a second behind in sector three. Hamilton struggled until the last sector where his W11 again proved mighty to take him into P2, 0.14s down on Leclerc. That was fun.
1203: Big spin for Alex Albon into the gravel as he went into Turn 12. Somehow he gets the Red Bull going again and goes back to the pits. This came moments after Russell reported a strengthening wind with rain possibly on the way.
Out of Turn 11 and into Turn 12…
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 28, 2020
1157: Leclerc takes over P1, but he needed the C5s to do it. So far the jump from C4 to C5s seems to be worth around six tenths.
1150: Good effort there from George Russell. He was on the C5s but going only 0.36s down on Perez isn’t bad at all.
1148: Very close there for Danny Ric on the C4s, but the Renault man misses out on P1 by 0.049s.
1140: This time Leclerc keeps his foot down in the last sector but manages only P4 on the C4 tyres.
1129: Daniel Ricciardo on the C4s moves into P2. Charles Leclerc was on course to take over P1 spot, but it was the same old story of lifting off in sector three.
1115: Some insight there from Andrew Green, the technical director at Racing Point. He pins the 2020 order so far as Mercedes and Red Bull at the top, Ferrari and Racing Point close and results may be track-dependent. McLaren and Renault close behind. Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri, Haas and Williams in a group behind that.
1101: Perez again lifts off in sector three, but his time is good enough anyway to take P1 0.162s.
1043: Perez, running the C3s, goes purple in the first two sectors but finishes the lap three tenths down on Sainz.
1040: Hamilton’s W11 was sliding around quite viciously under the watch of the on-board camera.
1034: Sainz was up on his best again there, now running the C4s, but slowed in the last sector and improved only marginally.
1025: He starts with a 1:18.0 so isn’t pushing just yet. Meanwhile Kimi Raikkonen has gone for a spin near the pit entrance.
1022: Hamilton has rejoined the track on a new set of the C3s.
1019: Sergio Perez is next to let loose on the C3s as the Racing Point driver moves up to P2 with a 1:17.1.
1010: Daniil Kvyat goes for a flying lap on the C3 but is 0.5s down on Sainz.
1008: And now it’s the 1:16s for Sainz – the C3s are on as the Spaniard sets a scorching 1:16.822.
0951: Sainz boosts his lead by shaving off another two tenths on the C2s – a 1:17.255 is the new target.
0940: Hamilton continues on the C3 compound and goes into P2, half a second down on Sainz.
0931: Sainz is the first driver today into the 1:17s – a 1:17.508 on the C2s is a solid effort. Are McLaren finally turning up the pace?
0919: With the C4s Carlos Sainz pushes the benchmark to a 1:18.109.
0916: A late change saw Romain Grosjean take over running of the Haas VF-20 this morning and he moves into P1 with a 1:18.449.
0909: It’s Hamilton who sets the first time of the day with a 1:19.868 on the C3s.
0904: An early puff of smoke from Lewis Hamilton’s W11 – if there is anything that could threaten Mercedes this season, it may well be that power unit which has been troublesome in testing.
0900: On goes the green light – the final day of pre-season testing for 2020 is underway.
0845: Today’s line-up sees Mercedes, Red Bull, Renault and Haas split the driving duties while Charles Leclerc will wrap up Ferrari’s pre-season.
Red Bull: Verstappen/Albon
Racing Point: Perez
Alfa Romeo: Raikkonen
0830: Hello and welcome to the final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Live updates from the final eight hours of track action before Australia will begin at 0900 local time.