The third day of testing at Barcelona saw Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas up the pace, breaking the track record and impressing with consistently quick times. The Finn again completed an impressive 72 laps before handing the wheel over to Lewis Hamilton for the afternoon session.
Valtteri Bottas completed his best laps of the day around 12:00, using the super soft tyres to end up a comfortable 1.448s quicker than Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull RB13. The Australian enjoyed a straightforward morning in which Red Bull focused on aerodynamic set-up changes.
Jolyon Palmer ended up third fastest in the Renault, even though he caused a red flag about an hour into the session. No damage was done to the car though, and he was quickly back out on track after the car was recovered and gravel cleared from the car.
At Sauber, Marcus Ericsson was up early in the morning to get out on track first, followed by another 51 laps. Worryingly for Sauber, he ended up 2.1 seconds adrift of the pace setting Mercedes even though it seemed like the team had focused on performance runs.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso had a dull morning, although this time around without mechanical issues. As McLaren focused on aerodynamic runs, the Spaniard completed just one timed lap, combined with several out and in laps featuring different rakes and car set-ups.
|1.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:19.705||-||72|
|2.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:21.153||+1.448||44|
|7.||Alfonso Celis jr||Force India||1:23.781||+4.076||39|
|9.||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:23.952||+4.247||29|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1||1:25.133||+5.428||26|
|11.||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||No time||-||1|
When the afternoon session started, nobody seemed eager to get out.
15 minutes in, Hamilton and Ericsson set out to the track. Another 20 minutes later, Ricciardo and Alonso joined the action while Hamilton continued to circle between pitstops as his team practices its pitstop procedures for the upcoming season.
Moments later, Stroll also came back out on track following his off track excursion just before lunch. The Canadian's day came to an early end around 5, when Williams announced they wouldn't be running again. as they were busy assessing damage after another incident. This time around, Stroll lost control of the rear of his Williams and spun into the inside tyre barriers while on an out-lap, following a red flag situation caused by a technical issue for Carlos Sainz' Toro Rosso.
Sebastian Vettel on the other hand was busy with some high speed runs in the afternoon. He repeated a hot lap, cooling lap and another hot lap several times on different sets of tyres, exactly what happens in qualifying as well. The German Ferrari drivers ended up on 1:19.9s on softs. That's 0.247s off Bottas, who set his time on ultra-softs.
|1.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:19.705||-||75|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:21.153||+1.448||70|
|7.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:22.090||+2.385||95|
|8.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1||1:22.118||+2.413||56|
|11.||Carlos Sainz jr||Toro Rosso||1:23.540||+3.835||32|
|12.||Alfonso Celis jr||Force India||1:23.568||+3.863||71|
|13.||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:23.952||+4.247||31|