Vettel on top as McLaren suffer setback


Tuesday morning’s timesheet displayed a familiar tale as Ferrari and Mercedes battled at the front while McLaren were bottom with only a handful of laps on the board.

Returning to the test arena on Tuesday morning, Stoffel Vandoorne had to be pushed back into the pit lane after his installation lap and then managed just three laps on his next run.

Having just posted his first time of the day, a 1:24.773, the Belgian racer’s MCL33 ground to a halt on the start/finish straight, bringing out the red flags.

Vandoorne ventured out again for three laps just before the lunch break with Sky Sports reporting that McLaren said the “power shut down”. They are investigating the issue.

His red wasn’t the morning’s only stoppage as Sergio Perez spun at Turn 4 and kicked up gravel onto the track.

While he continued on his way, the flags were waved to give the marshals a chance to clear the debris.

Back in the action it was Sebastian Vettel who led the way with the German posting a 1:20.396 on the medium tyres.

Making the most of the improved track conditions, the track temperature reaching 32’C, he covered 86 laps in the morning’s session.

Valtteri Bottas was second, two-tenths down, while Max Verstappen was third quickest for Red Bull – a further half a tenth off the pace. Both set their best times on the soft tyres.

Pierre Gasly was fourth ahead of Kevin Magnussen while Nico Hulkenberg, with a fastest time of 1:21.432, posted his best on the mediums.

Sergey Sirotkin, Marcus Ericsson, Perez and Vandoorne completed the morning’s timesheet.