Bottas sets new fastest time, Vettel suffers engine issue

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Barcelona so far on the morning of day three, as Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari suffered an engine problem.

Bottas sets new fastest time, Vettel suffers engine issue

Vettel had managed what was then a field-high 40 laps by the time he stopped at Turn 12 just after two hours and a half of running, bringing out the second red flag of the test.

The session remained suspended for 20 minutes as the stricken SF1000 was covered in multiple blankets and transported back to pitlane, from which it wouldn't emerge until the chequered flag.

Ferrari has confirmed it will fit a replacement engine on Vettel's car for the afternoon, while the power unit that started the day will go to Maranello for analysis.

As the red flag flew, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen had sat in first lap with a C2 lap of 1m17.636s, but Bottas then improved to a 1m16.863s - the fastest lap of testing so far - shortly after green-flag running resumed.

He whittled it down to a 1m16.417s on C4s, before fitting the softest tyre compound - the C5 - with just under an hour remaining and recording a 1m15.732s.

Bottas' lap was nearly half a second quicker than Vettel's overall benchmark from 2019 pre-season testing, and was just three tenths short of the Mercedes driver's own lap record from last year's qualifying.

The Finn's lap coincided with Nicholas Latifi's Williams coming to a halt on the pit straight, which caused the test's third red-flag period. Like Vettel, Latifi did not return for the rest of the session, the pair making up the classification in ninth and 10th.

The session had resumed again with 50 minutes to go, but Bottas' time was under no threat and he duly went into the lunch break as the pace-setter, with Lewis Hamilton set to drive the W11 in the afternoon.

Renault had gone into the day with the fewest miles accrued but Esteban Ocon logged a healthy 76 laps in the morning.

He ended the session second fastest, with a time 1.370s off Bottas set on C4s, and will now hand the car over to Daniel Ricciardo for the afternoon.

Racing Point's Lance Stroll completed the top three, two tenths behind Ocon and a tenth up on AlphaTauri's Daniil Kvyat, who will be replaced by Pierre Gasly for the afternoon running.

Verstappen had spend the day focused on the harder tyre compounds, and was only fifth-fastest, albeit recording the biggest lap count at 86.

Carlos Sainz's seventh fastest time likewise came on the C2s, with the McLaren driver and his former Toro Rosso teammate Verstappen split by Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi in sixth place.

Both Verstappen and Sainz are done for the week, with Alexander Albon and Lando Norris respectively replacing them for the afternoon.

Romain Grosjean, who will hand the Haas VF-20 over to Kevin Magnussen for the final session, was eighth fastest and the only driver besides Vettel and Latifi not to make it to the 50-lap mark.

Session results

Pos. Driver Team Engine Time Laps
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Mercedes 1:15.732 65
2 Esteban Ocon Renault Renault 1:17.102 76
3 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:17.338 52
4 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda 1:17.427 62
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1:17.636 86
6 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:18.035 65
7 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:18.274 76
8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:18.380 48
9 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari 1:18.384 40
10 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:19.004 44
shares
comments
Ricciardo says testing feels normal again after 2019 "anomaly"

Previous article

Ricciardo says testing feels normal again after 2019 "anomaly"

Next article

Racing Point will only develop DAS if benefits are clear

Racing Point will only develop DAS if benefits are clear
Load comments
How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working Prime

How Ferrari got its F1 recovery plan working

After its worst campaign in 40 years, the famous Italian team had to bounce back in 2021 – and it appears to be delivering. Although it concedes the pole positions in Monaco and Baku paint a somewhat misleading picture of its competitiveness, the team is heading into the 2022 rules revamp on much stronger footing to go for wins again

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again Prime

The F1 figures Red Bull and Mercedes can't afford to see again

OPINION: An interloper squad got amongst the title contenders during Formula 1’s street-circuit mini-break, where Red Bull left with the points lead in both championships. But, as the campaign heads back to purpose-built venues once again, how the drivers of the two top teams compare in one crucial area will be a major factor in deciding which squad stays in or retakes the top spot

Formula 1
Jun 16, 2021
Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future Prime

Why Alfa's boss is up to the task of securing a stronger F1 future

Two tenth places in recent races have lifted Alfa Romeo to the head of Formula 1's 'Class C' battle in 2021, but longer-term the Swiss-based squad has far loftier ambitions. With the new 2022 rules set to level out the playing field, team boss Frederic Vasseur has good reason to be optimistic, as he explained to Motorsport.com in an exclusive interview

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction Prime

How Barnard's revolutionary McLaren transformed F1 car construction

The MP4/1 was pioneering by choice, but a McLaren by chance. STUART CODLING relates the tangled (carbon fibre) weaves which led to the creation of one of motor racing’s defining cars

Formula 1
Jun 15, 2021
Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool Prime

Why the end is nigh for F1’s most dependable design tool

Wind tunnel work forms the bedrock of aerodynamic development in Formula 1. But as Pat Symonds explains, advances in virtual research are signalling the end of these expensive and complicated relics.

Formula 1
Jun 13, 2021
Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Prime

Why Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. Stuart Codling weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising.

Formula 1
Jun 12, 2021
Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Prime

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021