Barcelona F1 testing: Vettel puts Ferrari on top for first time

Sebastian Vettel headed a disrupted second morning of the second Formula 1 2020 pre-season test, setting a 1m16.841s benchmark following a Turn 5 excursion which prompted a red flag

Barcelona F1 testing: Vettel puts Ferrari on top for first time

Clocking in a 1m17.093s lap with 45 minutes to spare, Vettel put himself on top of the timesheets before almost immediately running wide on the exit of Turn 5, spinning and pouring gravel all over the circuit.

After the short break in running, Vettel returned to the circuit and with, 15 minutes remaining, bolted on the C5 tyres to further cement his advantage over Lance Stroll.

Vettel's spin prompted the third red flag of the session, which was particularly stop-start in nature to nix any teams' hopes of chaining together a host of long runs.

The first red flag was prompted by Antonio Giovinazzi, who ended his morning mileage early after a spin at Turn 4, during which he hit the wall with his rear wing.

Although Giovinazzi recovered and was able to return to the Alfa Romeo garage, he shed numerous pieces of debris on his retreat to the pits - which required the session to be stopped.

Max Verstappen brought out the second having beached his Red Bull at Turn 5 with just over an hour remaining on the clock, while Vettel added the third.

Verstappen was able to re-appear for the final 30 minutes of running, with seemingly benign damage to his RB16.

Overnight rain left the Barcelona circuit in a particularly damp state at the beginning of the day, although there was a smattering of action on the intermediate tyre in the opening hour.

Once the circuit had dried sufficiently, the cars began to take to the track to conduct aero tests, with a number of teams trialling new parts in the morning's running.

Racing Point driver Stroll ended the first part of the day in second, having spent a large portion of the session with a monopoly on top spot before his flurry of fast times was overcome by Vettel.

Nicholas Latifi, who suffered from engine woes on Wednesday morning, enjoyed a much better day and came within half a second of Vettel, slotting in behind compatriot Stroll.

Fourth was occupied by Lando Norris, who kept clear of Verstappen by just over a tenth, while Valtteri Bottas claimed the sixth-best lap having headed the timing boards early on.

Bottas went off in the same place as Vettel earlier in the day, but avoided making enough of a mess to pause the session.

The Finnish driver was eclipsed by Vettel in the lap count stakes, managing 47 laps to the four-time champion's 49.

Esteban Ocon beat Kevin Magnussen to seventh overall, while Giovinazzi was unable to return to the circuit after his early incident.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly completed the top 10, only setting a lap in the 1m22s.

Thursday morning times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m16.841ss 1m16.841s 49
2 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m17.118ss 0.277s 30
3 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1m17.313ss 0.472s 43
4 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m17.573ss 0.732s 43
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m17.738ss 0.897s 31
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m17.985ss 1.144s 47
7 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m18.013ss 1.172s 37
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m18.225ss 1.384s 31
9 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m19.670ss 2.829s 16
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1m22.566ss 5.725s 35


shares
comments
Ferrari: Mercedes claim F1 engine was turned down in week one wrong

Previous article

Ferrari: Mercedes claim F1 engine was turned down in week one wrong

Next article

Williams: Netflix series will show truth about 2019 F1 pre-season

Williams: Netflix series will show truth about 2019 F1 pre-season
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021