Vettel and Ferrari send another statement

Date published: March 1 2019

Sebastian Vettel ends the final morning of testing fastest.

Sebastian Vettel surpassed team-mate Charles Leclerc’s headline time from Thursday by 0.010s on the final morning session of testing.

With a little under an hour to go, Vettel would dampen the Mercedes resurgence, ultimately pumping in a 1:16.221 to take P1.

Mercedes have been quiet throughout the testing period but Bottas did set their quickest time of testing so far with a 1:16.561 on the C5 compound. That was good enough for P2 come lunchtime.

Most of the field went out early doors, with Bottas getting the first time on the board for Mercedes – a 1:21.216, using the medium compound tyres.

Carlos Sainz topped the leaderboard on Wednesday and he displayed the MCL34’s pace once again, slotting into P4 with a 1:16.913.

Valtteri Bottas: In action for Mercedes

Elsewhere,  Daniil Kvyat put a solid session together in the Toro Rosso, racking up 52 laps and producing a 1:16.898 to end the morning in P3.

The Russian’s former team-mate at Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo wasn’t far behind in P6 – he’s now chasing that Red Bull rather than running away from it.

Daniel Ricciardo in action for Renault.

After managing only 16 laps yesterday as the curse of the “little gremlins” returned, Romain Grosjean enjoyed a much busier session, pumping in 73 laps and claiming P5.

Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez enjoyed extended runs out on track completing their morning’s work in P7 and P9 respectively, though Raikkonen’s session ended slightly before schedule as his Alfa Romeo pulled up at the side of the track.

After the damage caused by Pierre Gasly’s crash yesterday afternoon, the Red Bull mechanics had been on overdrive to get the car ready for Max Verstappen. The Dutchman’s 1:17.709 on the harder C3 tyres earned him P8 but only had 29 laps on the board.

It was another solid morning of running for Williams with Robert Kubica putting 47 laps on the FW42’s clock, but they do remain some way off the pace.

Times

1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:16.221 C5 68 laps

2. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:16.561 C5 71 laps

3. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:16.898 C5 52 laps

4. Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:16.913 C5 59 laps

5. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:17.076 C5 73 laps

6. Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:17.144 C5 52 laps

7. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:17.239 C5 61 laps

8. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:17.709 C3 29 laps

9. Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:17.791 C5 36 laps

10. Robert Kubica Williams 1:18.993 C5 40 laps

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