F1 testing: Renault's Hulkenberg fastest before breaking down

Nico Hulkenberg snatched the fastest time of Formula 1 testing on the final day in Barcelona, shortly before his Renault stopped on track with a disappointing number of laps completed

F1 testing: Renault's Hulkenberg fastest before breaking down

Daniel Ricciardo set the second fastest time in the morning for Renault but Hulkenberg shone when he took the reins on Thursday afternoon.

Using Pirelli's softest tyres, labelled C5, he set the top time of 1m17.393s with an hour and a half to go, 0.244s quicker than Albon's second-placed effort.

But the car's stoppage meant the squad completed just 58 laps, the fewest of all teams on the day.

Alexander Albon maintained second for Toro Rosso with his morning time which, coupled with Daniil Kvyat's Wednesday afternoon effort, means the team holds the second and third quickest laps of testing.

Ricciardo managed just 34 laps but did set the fastest middle sector to add to Hulkenberg's glory in the final sector.

Albon stopped them from a clean sweep, his morning first sector was at the top of the pile.

Valtteri Bottas took over the Mercedes after lunch, and while the team completed fewer laps than it had done on other days, it fulfilled its promise to improve its performance.

Like the three drivers ahead, Bottas used the C5 tyre and set a 1m17.8578s - Mercedes' best time in Barcelona this year.

In the morning, Lewis Hamilton had steered the car to a 1m17.977s lap, which turned out to be the quickest time on the C4 tyre, and meant both Mercedes were inside the 1m17s for the first time this week.

Charles Leclerc rounded out the top six for Ferrari, in a day dominated by long runs for the squad.

Leclerc's best time came on the C3 tyre, a harder compound then any used by the drivers ahead of him, and once again the team bagged a substantial number of laps with 138.

A late tour on the C4 tyre gave McLaren its best lap of the test in the hands of Lando Norris.

Antonio Giovinazzi impressed for Alfa Romeo, despite the fact that his best time was good enough for seventh.

The pace of the car on the long run appears to be at the head of the pack behind the big three of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes in the first week of testing.

The Alfa Romeo did stop twice on track within the last 15 minutes, bringing out two consecutive red flags.

The Haas duo of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen set the eighth and ninth fastest times of the day respectively.

Magnussen got back to running in the car after a problem with his headrest had ruled him out on Tuesday.

After breaking down three times on Wednesday, the car appeared to perform flawlessly through the day, the team bagging over 100 laps once more.

Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10, but his long runs were impressive in comparison to that of the Ferrari, which has been marked out as the car to beat at this test by Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

Racing Point was again short of pace and has yet to exceed 80 laps in a day. Lance Stroll took the wheel, and set the 12th fastest time.

After conducting more laps than Renault, Williams got within 1.333s of Stroll in the hands of George Russell in the afternoon.

The reigning Formula 2 champion helped the team to amass 62 laps, with Robert Kubica getting his first taste of the car in the morning.

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m17.393s 24
2 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 0.244s 136
3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 0.392s 34
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.464s 57
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.584s 58
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.653s 138
7 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1.038s 132
8 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1.118s 154
9 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.170s 64
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1.327s 66
11 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1.387s 146
12 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 2.271s 72
13 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 3.604s 17
14 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 4.149s 48
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jordan King , Nico Hulkenberg
Teams Renault F1 Team
Author Jack Benyon
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