F1 testing round-up: Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two


Sebastian Vettel broke the unofficial Barcelona lap record as Ferrari dominated the times in 2018 Formula 1 pre-season testing.

A weather-disrupted opening test, topped by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, piled more work on the 10 F1 teams for the final four days before the season opener in Australia at the end of this month.

Vettel fired a statement of intent on Thursday with a 1m17.182s that shattered the previous fastest lap of the Spanish Grand Prix circuit by 1.2 seconds.

His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen added further gloss to Ferrari’s week by lapping within a tenth to top the final day of testing on Friday.

Vettel was also the test’s busiest driver, completing 425 laps, thanks to Raikkonen needing to forfeit his first morning of the final week thanks to illness.

He was still minded to urge caution though, especially as the four-time double champion team Mercedes focused on long runs and ended up 1.3s off the pace.

“It’s the wrong conclusion to look at the time sheet,” said Vettel after Thursday. “There’s more to it than a good lap.”

The Ferraris were well clear of the rest of the pack, surprisingly headed by Fernando Alonso and McLaren.

Alonso stopped twice, in the same place, on Wednesday and Friday as reliability problems plagued the start of the Woking team’s first season after ditching Honda for Renault power.

McLaren had to change the engine after each stoppage but Alonso emerged late on Friday to give the team a reprieve in the closing minutes of the test with the third-best time, 0.6 seconds behind Vettel’s best.

It meant McLaren ended up as the fastest Renault-powered team, with Alonso heading Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull and Carlos Sainz Jr’s works entry as all three outfits were covered by three tenths of a second on the time sheets.

Kevin Magnussen was fifth fastest and gave Haas a pre-season boost as the only driver in the overall top six to do his best lap on supersoft tyres while everyone else used the new hypersofts.

Toro Rosso’s new relationship with McLaren’s exiled partner Honda continued its encouraging start, completing more laps than anyone bar Mercedes and Ferrari over the two weeks.

It is threatening pace as well as reliability, too, with Pierre Gasly firing in a quick lap near the end to demote reigning champion Lewis Hamilton to eighth in the times.

Mercedes was still bullish at the end of testing, though, after yet again completing the most mileage.

Its final tally of 1040 laps made it the only team to hit four-figures across the two weeks, with Ferrari (929) completing more than 100 laps fewer.

Williams and Force India helped keep Mercedes atop the pile on the engine manufacturers’ count too, leading Ferrari 2570 to 2409.

Renault’s tally was limited by a combination McLaren’s reliability woes, the occasional setback for Red Bull and a gearbox-induced miserable final day for the works team, but the French manufacturer still logged more than 2000 laps.

Honda’s improved showing with Toro Rosso is reflected by a final tally of 822 laps, a significant improvement on the 425 it managed last year with McLaren.

2018 winter testing stats

Combined testing times

Pos Driver Car Times Tyres
1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m17.182s HS
2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m17.221s HS
3. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Renault 1m17.784s HS
4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m18.047s HS
5. Carlos Sainz Jr Renault 1m18.092s HS
6. Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m18.360s SS
7. Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1m18.363s HS
8. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.400s US
9. Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m18.412s US
10. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m18.560s US
11. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m18.675s HS
12. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 1m18.855s HS
13. Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 1m18.949s HS
14. Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1m18.967s HS
15. Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.118s HS
16. Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 1m19.189s S
17. Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.244s HS
18. Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1m19.629s SS
19. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m19.634s HS
20. Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 1m19.842s S
21. Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1m19.954s S
22. Nikita Mazepin Force India-Mercedes 1m25.628s M

Drivers’ total testing mileage

Pos Driver Laps Miles
1. Sebastian Vettel 643 1860
2. Valtteri Bottas 584 1689
3. Lewis Hamilton 456 1319
4. Pierre Gasly 452 1307
5. Carlos Sainz Jr 444 1284
6. Max Verstappen 419 1212
7. Marcus Ericsson 411 1189
8. Kevin Magnussen 380 1099
9. Charles Leclerc 375 1085
10. Esteban Ocon 372 1076
11. Brendon Hartley 370 1070
12. Daniel Ricciardo 364 1053
13. Sergey Sirotkin 354 1024
14. Nico Hulkenberg 351 1015
15. Lance Stroll 343 992
16. Stoffel Vandoorne 336 972
17. Sergio Perez 317 917
18. Romain Grosjean 314 908
19. Kimi Raikkonen 286 827
20. Fernando Alonso 263 761
21. Robert Kubica 122 353
22. Nikita Mazepin 22 64

Teams’ total testing mileage

Pos Team Laps Miles
1. Mercedes 1040 3008
2. Ferrari 929 2687
3. Toro Rosso 822 2377
4. Williams 819 2369
5. Renault 795 2299
6. Sauber 786 2273
7. Red Bull 783 2264
8. Force India 711 2056
9. Haas 694 2007
10. McLaren 599 1732

Engines’ total testing mileage

Pos Engine Laps Miles
1. Mercedes 2570 7432
2. Ferrari 2409 6967
3. Renault 2177 6296
4. Honda 822 2377



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