Saturday, Feb 22 07:12am
AUTHOR: Josh Ritchie

Bottas dominates third day of Formula One Pre-season testing


Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets to complete a Mercedes clean sweep in the first week of pre-season testing, asserting the pace of the W11.

Using the softest compound tyre, Bottas put himself at the top of the timesheets with a 1:15.732, putting him nearly eight-tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Hamilton.

Renault’s Esteban Ocon finished the day in third place with a best time of 1:17.102, despite stopping at turn nine, causing a red flag before spinning at turn 13 later in the session.

Lance Stroll completed 116 laps as the Racing Point driver finished fourth overall, just two-tenths behind Ocon.
Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top five, completing the morning session and posting a 1:17.427. AlphaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly completed the afternoon session, finishing in ninth overall.

Red Bull had a quiet session with both Max Verstappen completing 86 laps and finishing eight place, whilst team-mate Alexander Albon completed 84 laps and finished in tenth place.

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi completed the most laps off all drivers in Day 3 of testing, with 152 laps clocked and finishing in P6 for the day.

McLaren experimented with front-wing endplates, as both drivers – Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz – shared driving duties. Both drivers finished in the bottom-end of the field.

Nicholas Latifi completed 72 laps for Williams, although not before coming to a halt at the pit exit following mechanical issues.

Haas’ day ended early after Magnussen suffered a puncture, which sent the new VF-20 into the wall at Turn 8. But Magnussen and team-mate Grosjean finished at the bottom of the timing sheets.

Ferrari meanwhile struck problems as Sebastian Vettel’s SF1000 engine unit ran into strife midway through the lap. The power unit was sent back to the teams base in Maranello whilst Vettel resumed the day with another power unit to finish the day in 13th place, having completed 100 laps.

The second week of pre-season testing will commence next Wednesday evening (21:00NZT). The first Grand Prix of the season is scheduled for the 15th of March in Melbourne.