Vettel stays quickest as Hamilton hits trouble

Sebastian Vettel remained quickest for Ferrari at the end of the penultimate day of 2020 pre-season Formula 1 testing, while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton suffered a reliability setback on Thursday afternoon.

Vettel’s 1m16.841s on C5s from the morning went unbeaten during the four-hour second session, although AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly put in a lap on the same rubber just 0.225s adrift of the top spot with under 15 minutes of the day remaining.

Lance Stroll’s C3-shod 1m17.118s from morning ended up as the third quickest time of the day overall for Racing Point.

Hamilton had taken over at the wheel of Mercedes’ W11 from his teammate Valtteri Bottas – whose morning effort of 1m17.985s put him seventh overall on the day – but the six-time world champion did not appear during the first hour of the afternoon.

When Hamilton did take to the track, he immediately began a long-run stint on the yellow-walled C3 rubber – for a long while lapping just in front of Vettel, who was also conducting a long-run assessment.

But Hamilton’s effort came to an end after 12 laps when his engine appeared to shut down suddenly as he exited the downhill Turn 5 left-hander and he coasted up to the approach to Turn 7 before pulling over.

This caused the afternoon’s only red flag, and Hamilton did not reappear again after that as Mercedes revealed the issue had been caused by an oil pressure anomaly that led to the engine shutting down as a precaution.

Hamilton finished the day on 14 laps, with the 13th and slowest time – a 1m22.425s set on the C3s.

Vettel completed his long run efforts after the red flag, as he added a further 96 laps to the 49 he logged during the morning.

Gasly ended the day with 134 laps completed in second place, while Nicholas Latifi finished on 160 and fourth overall in the times behind Stroll.

Lando Norris was shuffled down from fourth in the morning to fifth in the afternoon, finishing ahead of the morning-only runners Max Verstappen, Bottas and Esteban Ocon.

Kevin Magnussen finished ninth with 111 laps completed aboard his Haas, while Alex Albon climbed into the Red Bull for the afternoon and ended up 10th, with 61 laps logged.

Albon’s 1m18.393s on the C2 tyres was 1.552s adrift of Vettel’s day-best time.

Daniel Ricciardo took over from Ocon in the Renault for the afternoon, but he also did not trouble the top of the times and wound up 11th quickest – with a best time of 1m18.395s coming on the C3s.

Antonio Giovinazzi finished the day in 12th place overall, but his 1m19.670s from the morning running – which had placed him ninth in that session – remained his best lap for Alfa Romeo.

1Sebastian VettelFerrari1m16.841s 145 
2Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1m17.066s+0.225139
3Lance StrollRacing Point1m17.118s+0.277130
4Nicholas LatifiWilliams1m17.313s+0.472160
5Lando NorrisMcLaren1m17.573s+0.732113
6Max VerstappenRed Bull1m17.738s+0.89731
7Valtteri BottasMercedes1m17.985s+1.14447
8Esteban OconRenault1m18.013s+1.17237
9Kevin MagnussenHaas1m18.225s+1.384111
10Alex AlbonRed Bull1m18.393s+1.55261
11Daniel RicciardoRenault1m18.395s+1.55459
12Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo1m19.670s+2.82992
13Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m22.425s+5.58414

Source: Read Full Article