Barcelona Day 7: Vettel fastest as Ferrari flex their muscles


Sebastian Vettel shattered the lap record at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to end the penultimate day of Formula 1 preseason testing fastest of all and revealing that Ferrari have a handy piece of kit at their disposal in the SF71-H.

The German blasted around the Spanish Grand Prix venue in an astonishing 1:17.182 on using the Pirelli hypersoft tyres, which was also 1.2 seconds faster than the next best on a day in which he completed 188 laps – almost three grand prix distances.

Indeed it was a day where teams managed to get much needed running with near perfect conditions for testing. Significant mileage was the order of the day for teams with all hitting triple digits lap tallies

Second on the timing screens at the end of a day of good conditions was Kevin Magnussen in the Haas using supersoft tyres and making it a one-two for Ferrari powered cars on the day. It was 153 laps for the Dane in what was the team’s most productive day in Spain so far this year.

Again surprising and impressing were Toro Rosso whose Pierre Gasly was third fastest in the team’s first car powered by Honda. The Frenchman setting his best time late in the day on hypersofts and managing 169 laps in the process.

Next up were the Renault pair of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz, fourth and fifth respectively, the German setting the time during his afternoon stint in the car.

McLaren finally had a hassle free day, at least on the surface, with Stoffel Vandoorne sixth-fastest and with a handy 151 laps on his chart – the most laps they’ve completed on a single pre-season test day in this fifth year of the V6 hybrid era.

Marcus Ericsson stopped on track during one of his stints but still managed to end seventh-fastest with 148 laps to his credit.

Down in eighth and ninth Mercedes were lower down the order than normal as Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas focussed on race simulation runs, the reigning world champion a couple of tenths quicker than his teammate. The pair amassed 181 laps during the course of the day.

The other two Force India powered cars were next up with Robert Kubica back on duty in tenth and Force India’s Sergio Perez 11th.

Max Verstappen was also lower down the order than normal with the 12 fastest time on a day he went further than any of his colleagues with 187 laps recorded.

Lance Stroll, who did duty for Williams in the morning, was slowest of all.