It may only be day three of testing in Barcelona, but there is already a theme as to how testing is going for a number of teams, be it good or bad.
Once again on Wednesday it was Mercedes and Ferrari who would sit at the top of the times, today Valtteri Bottas taking the leading position by a quarter of a second.
Again deciding the split the driving duties at Mercedes, Bottas set the fastest lap on ultra soft tyres in the morning session, while Vettel did his lap time on a set of the soft tyre. Between the two drivers, Mercedes completed 180 laps, with Lewis Hamilton running a race simulation in the afternoon – igniting a possible battle with Ferrari this season.
Third was Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo on driving duties today with the team nearly a second and a half behind the Mercedes. Max Verstappen took the opportunity to head to the grandstand, and greeted fans on his day off from driving.
There was more bad news for Williams, with Lance Stroll crashing for a second day in a row. Hitting the wall on the exit of turn 5, it was an early end to the day for the having completed 98 laps, and down in 9th place, just behind Haas.
McLaren were still struggling with the new Honda engine, but was better than the last couple of days, completing 72 laps and nearly three seconds off the pace. The Spanish press had speculated in the morning that McLaren could look to cease the deal with Honda, however implausible.
Toro Rosso didn’t have a good day either, Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat completed 63 laps at the bottom of the order – the team having a problem with the drivetrain.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.153s||1.448s||70|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m23.540s||3.835s||32|
|12||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.568s||3.863s||71|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m23.952s||4.247s||31|