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Barcelona F1 2020 testing: All the statistics over six days

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Barcelona F1 2020 testing: All the statistics over six days
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Co-author: Luke Smith
Feb 29, 2020, 8:15 AM

Mercedes will head to the Formula 1 season-opener in Australia as the favourite after leading pre-season testing - although question marks remain over its engine reliability.

Testing rarely shows the complete picture, seen most starkly in 2019 when Ferrari’s impressive performance in Barcelona was followed by an underwhelming start to the season.

Yet a look at the numbers supports the case for Mercedes once again being the team to beat in Melbourne after it topped every single area.

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Valtteri Bottas’ gave an early sign of Mercedes’ strength in the opening week when he laid down a fastest lap of 1m15.732s, putting him just three-tenths of a second shy of his own track record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

His effort would go unbeaten through the second test, giving him a half a second buffer over the rest of the field. Max Verstappen was the next-best driver, finishing 0.537s adrift. Bottas’s final day effort of 1m16.196s meant he ended the test with the two fastest laps.

Verstappen was able to rise to P2 with a qualifying simulation on the C5 tyres in the final hour of testing. A series of spins through testing had raised some concerns about a potentially skittish trait in the RB16 car, but Verstappen stressed there was nothing to be worried about.

While defending world champion Lewis Hamilton could only finish fifth-fastest in testing, he did lead the way on mileage despite a couple of setbacks for Mercedes. Hamilton racked up 466 laps over his six half-days of running - equivalent to seven race distances - to finish 20 laps clear of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

Mercedes also led the team mileage counts as Hamilton and Bottas hit a combined total of 903 laps, 59 more than Ferrari. There’s not a single measurable metric where the German marque trailed through testing.

However, a spate of engine issues for Mercedes and customer team Williams - often relating to the oil system - has flared some reliability fears. Williams was forced to use three engines through testing, while Mercedes had two separate issues, prompting Hamilton to call it a “difficult winter”.

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Ferrari’s approach through testing was to avoid overhyping its performance and focus more on getting the basics right after its disappointing start to the season last year. It still trailed Mercedes’ lap count, but was only 150 laps shy of its total from 2019 when it had two additional days - proof of its change in approach.

Two of the biggest gainers from 2019 were Williams and Racing Point. In Williams’ case, it’s of little surprise given last year’s woes, but to end testing with 737 laps under its belt (compared to 567 in the 5.5 days it had in ‘19) is a serious achievement. Without its engine issues, the team could have ranked very highly on the lap counts.

Racing Point’s progression is even starker, though. The ‘pink Mercedes’ turned heads on the opening day of testing, but proved itself to be both reliable and quick. Racing Point completed 782 laps over six days. Last year, it managed 625 laps in eight days. Sergio Perez finished seventh-fastest overall, but was just four-tenths of a second off Verstappen’s best lap time.

The maturity of the regulations meant all of the teams were able hit the ground running and rack up some big mileage numbers. The only real anomaly was Haas, which with 649 laps was almost 100 adrift of the rest of the field.

Come Melbourne, the true picture of the F1 field may become a bit clearer. But if testing is anything to go by, Mercedes will once again be leading the pack come the chequered flag at Albert Park.

Combined fastest laps from the two tests

Pos Driver Time
1 Valtteri Bottas 1'15.732
2 Max Verstappen 1'16.269
3 Daniel Ricciardo 1'16.276
4 Charles Leclerc 1'16.360
5 Lewis Hamilton 1'16.410
6 Esteban Ocon 1'16.433
7 Sergio Perez 1'16.634
8 Carlos Sainz 1'16.820
9 Sebastian Vettel 1'16.841
10 George Russell 1'16.871
11 Daniil Kvyat 1'16.914
12 Robert Kubica 1'16.942
13 Romain Grosjean 1'17.037
14 Pierre Gasly 1'17.066
15 Kimi Raikkonen 1'17.091
16 Lance Stroll 1'17.118
17 Nicholas Latifi 1'17.313
18 Kevin Magnussen 1'17.495
19 Alexander Albon 1'17.550
20 Lando Norris 1'17.573
21 Antonio Giovinazzi 1'19.670

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Laps completed per driver

Pos  Driver Total
1 Lewis Hamilton  466
2 Carlos Sainz
446
3 Charles Leclerc  442
4 Sergio Perez  441
5 Valtteri Bottas  437
6 Max Verstappen  414
7 Sebastian Vettel  402
8 Romain Grosjean  399
9 Daniil Kvyat 

399

10 George Russell  394
11 Esteban Ocon  376
12 Pierre Gasly  370
13 Daniel Ricciardo  367
14 Alexander Albon  366
15 Lando Norris  356
16 Nicholas Latifi  343
17 Lance Stroll  341
18 Antonio Giovinazzi  323
19 Kimi Raikkonen  300
20 Kevin Magnussen  250
21 Robert Kubica  112

Km completed per driver

Pos  Driver  Total 
1 Lewis Hamilton  2169
2 Carlos Sainz
2076
3 Charles Leclerc  2058
4 Sergio Perez  2053
5 Valtteri Bottas  2034
6 Max Verstappen  1927
7 Sebastian Vettel  1871
8 Romain Grosjean  1857
9 Daniil Kvyat  1857
10 George Russell  1834
11 Esteban Ocon  1750
12 Pierre Gasly  1722
13 Daniel Ricciardo  1708
14 Alexander Albon  1704
15 Lando Norris  1657
16 Nicholas Latifi  1597
17 Lance Stroll  1587
18 Antonio Giovinazzi  1504
19 Kimi Raikkonen  1397
20 Kevin Magnussen  1164
21 Robert Kubica  521

Laps completed per team

Pos Team  Total 
1 Mercedes 903
2 Ferrari 844
3 McLaren 802
4 Racing Point 782
5 Red Bull 780
6 AlphaTauri 769
7 Renault 743
8 Williams 737
9 Alfa Romeo 735
10 Haas 649

Km completed per team

 Pos Team  Total 
1 Mercedes 4203
2 Ferrari 3929
3 McLaren 3733
4 Racing Point 3640
5 Red Bull 3631
6 AlphaTauri 3580
7 Renault 3459
8 Williams 3431
9 Alfa Romeo 3421
10 Haas 3021

Laps completed per engine

Pos Engine  Total 
1 Mercedes 2422
2 Ferrari 2228
3 Honda 1549
4 Renault 1545

Km completed per engine

Pos Engine  Total 
1 Mercedes 11274
2 Ferrari 10371
3 Honda 7211
4 Renault 7192

 

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Series Formula 1
Author Pablo Elizalde