Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Barcelona Test Day Seven: Ferrari bounce back, Red Bull crash out

Charles Leclerc's benchmark-breaking lap time led a Ferrari fightback, whilst Pierre Gasly crashed out on day seven of pre-season testing.

Barcelona Test Day Seven: Ferrari bounce back, Red Bull crash out

In a stark contrast to their mysterious session-ending crash on Wednesday, the anticipated championship challengers powered through the current test record to fire warning shots to their rivals with a time of 1m16.231s, over half-a-second faster than the nearest competitor.

On a day where the majority of teams attempted higher-pace laps on the C5 tyres in the morning session, Ferrari's effort on the fastest tyre was six tenths faster than Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon, and eight-tenths faster than McLaren's Lando Norris.

The Toro Rosso driver was the first to deliver a lap below the 1m17s threshold, paving the way for Leclerc to whittle down the target time, eventually settling for his time in the low-1m16s. 

Despite the initial evidence on the timing screens, an earlier effort from the Monegasque driver will raise more eyebrows. Setting a 1m17.2s on the much-harder C2 tyre, an adjusted tyre delta puts the Ferrari in the high-1m15s, and Leclerc himself confirmed that much more pace was to come from both himself and the team.

"Obviously like every team we are not flat out," he said. "There is still some margin. There is a bit in myself, I still have to learn.

"I get more comfortable with the car lap after lap, and also the car itself. So it is looking good for now."

In spite of a late stoppage with twenty minutes to go, their 138-lap day was bettered only by Williams and reigning champions Mercedes, who once again were not involved in the fight for P1.

Read Also:

Gasly crashes out again

Whilst one promoted junior driver shone, another graduate was left to rue a mistake which prematurely ended Red Bull's test day.

Pierre Gasly had is second crash in as many weeks when he ended up in the barrier on the outside of turn nine.

He conceded that he'd made a mistake on the entry of the corner by running slightly too wide, which resulted in a loss of grip, a spin and a high-speed impact with the barrier, which required a precautionary trip to the medical centre.

“I went slightly wide, 10-15 cm and then lost it as I turned in," conceded Gasly.

“It was a pretty big impact, but we’ll focus on all the work we’ve done over the four days."

He finished fourth overall thanks to his morning sprint on the C5 tyre, but his lap counter went no higher than 65 laps.

The Renault duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg finished fifth and sixth respectively - and around three tenths of a second apart - after their flying laps on the C5 tyres, accumulating 138 laps for the Enstone team.

Lance Stroll brought out the red flags when his Racing Point car stopped on track with a sensor issue, but the Canadian still went on to complete over 100 laps, finishing the day seventh, ahead of Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and Haas' Romain Grosjean, who was sidelined for part of the afternoon with an exhaust issue.

Lewis Hamilton's best lap of 1m18.097s was the ninth-fastest time (on the C2 tyre), but Mercedes' insistence on long runs means that the Formula One world will have to wait until the final day to see if they throw on a set of C5 tyres and rise through the order. Bottas' afternoon session brought the team's total to 181 laps for the day, but he finished down in thirteenth.

Eleventh-placed George Russell's 140-lap haul meant Williams were the third most-productive team of the day as they built their confidence with a mix of qualifying and race simulations, whilst Haas' Kevin Magnussen ended the day twelfth.

Pos Driver   Team Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m16.231s   138
2 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1m16.882s +0.651 118
3 Lando Norris McLaren 1m17.084s +0.853 84
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1m17.091s +0.860 65
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m17.204s +0.973 65
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m17.496s +1.265 73
7 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1m17.556s +1.325 103
8 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1m17.639s +1.408 71
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1m17.854s +1.623 16
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.097s +1.866 85
11 George Russell Williams 1m18.130s +1.899 140
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1m18.199s +1.968 53
13 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m18.862s +2.631 96
shares
comments
Gasly "shaken" after big crash in Barcelona

Previous article

Gasly "shaken" after big crash in Barcelona

Next article

Ferrari and Haas both hit by exhaust problems

Ferrari and Haas both hit by exhaust problems
Load comments
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021