Bottas and Mercedes top final day of F1 testing

Mark Scott

Ross Brawn's cheeky response to Mercedes' initial opposition to R&D handicap.

F1 testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona has concluded with Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes topping the timesheet on the final day.

Bottas replaced Lewis Hamilton in a scheduled change at the lunch break and proceeded to dislodge the morning pacesetter, Daniel Ricciardo, by 0.080s with a 1:16.226.

After an afternoon of tinkering and tweaking, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen re-emerged from the pit lane for one final late attack but fell 0.073s shy of knocking Bottas off top spot.

He was on course to take P1 on his next push with some fresh C4 tyres on, but lifted off in the final sector.

Verstappen, Bottas and the rest of the Formula 1 field in fact, all resisted the urge to go on an all-out glory run to steal all the main headlines heading toward the season opener in Melbourne.

Bottas’ best on the final day was half a second slower than the quickest time of pre-season testing which he set on day three.

The overall pace, though, did hot up slightly with Red Bull, Ferrari, Racing Point, Williams, Alpha Tauri and Haas all setting their best times of testing on the final day.

Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen and Alexander Albon all had off moments in the morning session, but the afternoon session in increasingly gloomy conditions was a much more gentle affair as teams predominantly focused on some final race simulations.

Although Ferrari continue to cast a dreary outlook on their 2020 season chances, their race run data appeared to put them on about a par with the same lap times that Lewis Hamilton was producing on Thursday before an anomaly with the oil pressure halted his running.

But, of course, we will not start to get the real answers until Melbourne, which is now the next stop for Formula 1 teams ahead of the first race of the season on March 15.

Final day timesheet

1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:16.196 78 C5
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +0.073 44 C4
3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +0.080 65 C5
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.164 178 C5
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.214 90 C5
6 Esteban Ocon Renault +0.237 72 C5
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point +0.438 153 C5
8 Carlos Sainz McLaren +0.624 160 C4
9 George Russell Williams +0.675 144 C5
10 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +0.718 158 C4
11 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team +0.841 86 C3
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing +1.219 115 C3
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team +1.299 27
14 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing +1.607 59 C4

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