DAS ist gut for Mercedes while Ferrari see red

Date published: February 21 2020

DAS ist gud for Mercedes while Ferrari see red

Valtteri Bottas slapped a set of the softest compound tyres onto his DAS-fitted W11 and laid down a 1:15.732 on Friday morning’s session while Sebastian Vettel’s engine let him down.

Vettel was one of the first out on Friday morning, putting in the laps at the Circuit de Catalunya.

However, it all came to an end after 40 laps.

The German came to a stop at Turn 12, bringing out the red flags – only the second time this weekend that F1 has seen red.

Giving his SF1000 the once over, it was clear that this red was not the result of a fuel shortage.

Ferrari later confirmed that it was an engine issue and that Vettel’s morning was down.

The four-time World Champ told Auto Motor und Sport: “This will be a long break. But rather ask the team what happened. I don’t know the official version.”

He finished P9, 2.6s slower than pace-setter Bottas.

But while Vettel used the medium tyres for his fastest lap, Bottas did his on the softest of the softs, the C5.

The Finn, who was the pace-setter before falling down the order, put in an impressive 1:15.732 to beat Esteban Ocon by 1.370s.

Bottas’ time was just three-tenths off the track record at the Spanish track.

Bottas was running Mercedes’ dual axis steering system, which the Brackley squad is “confident” is legal.

Lance Stroll was third in his pink Mercedes, but as Sergio Perez said after his run on Thursday, the copycat claims are OK to deal with just as long as the Racing Point “performs” like a Mercedes.

So far so good in testing.

The Honda-powered cars of Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen lined up four and five with the latter losing a bit of track time after whacking a kerb.

Verstappen hit the raised Turn 7 kerb hard and had to return to the pits to check that he had not broken the RB16’s suspension.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean were next in line with Vettel and Nicholas Latifi completing the timesheet.

Williams rookie Latifi had a hairy moment out on track but managed to save the car. Latifi would go on to cause the second  red flag of the day, but not because of his own doing. The Mercedes engine packed in as headed down the pit straight.

There will be a few driver changes after the lunch break as Lewis Hamilton, Alexander Albon, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen come out to play.

You can follow all the action from the Circuit de Catalunya as it happens with our live coverage.

Times
1 Bottas Mercedes 1:15.732s 65 laps C5
2 Ocon Renault 1:17.102s 76 laps C4
3 Stroll Racing Point 1:17.338s 52 laps C4
4 Kvyat AlphaTauri 1:17.427s 62 laps C3
5 Verstappen Red Bull 1:17.636s 86 laps C2
6 Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:18.035s 65 laps C3
7 Sainz McLaren 1:18.274s 76 laps C2
8 Grosjean Haas 1:18.380s 48 laps C3
9 Vettel Ferrari 1:18.384s 40 laps C3
10 Latifi Williams 1:19.004s 44 laps C3

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