Norris tops day 5 at Barcelona, Mercedes hit trouble
Lando Norris topped the times for McLaren this afternoon, thanks to a late qualifying run on the softest tyre available. McLaren though did hit further reliability problems, as did Mercedes.
The afternoon session kicked off with Russel taking to the track for Williams, immediately returning back to the pits for a drive-through, and back again on his way.
Vettel, Bottas, Giovinnazzi and Albon soon joined the party, but 30 minutes later, Bottas stopped out on track in Turn 3. After Ferrari's problems in the morning, it's now Mercedes who've hit issues on the back of an almost trouble-free first week of testing.
UPDATE: @ValtteriBottas stopped on track with an oil pressure problem.— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) February 26, 2019
After initial investigation, we have decided to swap the PU in order to continue today's programme and also to pursue our analysis of the problem. #F1Testing pic.twitter.com/9toEMP9HfT
It took 20 minutes to get the car back to the pits, with the track open again at 14:48. 7 cars immediately returned to the track, including Daniel Ricciardo who takes over the wheel from Nico Hulkenberg who completed the morning session in the Renault R.S.19.
After that, it was a collection of longer stints for most of the drivers, with a focus on running the yellow C3 compound. Lance Stroll did a bit of a shorter few runs around 16 o'clock to improve on his previous best a few times, but he didn't really set the timing board on fire, leaving the top of the timesheet untouched.
Stroll later returned on the softer C4 compound to go fastest, and did so almost simultaneously with Toro Rosso's Albon.
It wasn't much to talk about in terms of outright speed, especially as the timing failed from time to time.
In the final hour, times tumbled as drivers were given a shot at some short runs. Albon set a personal best of 1m18.923s on C4 tyres, just before Norris went fastest with a 1m17.709s on the softest C5 tyre.
10 minutes after that fastest lap though, the McLaren stopped out on track with 20 minutes left on the clock. A loss of hydraulic pressure had already cost the team a valuable 2 hours in the morning session as well.
The session did get underway again, with Bottas setting a time, and upping his tally to 7 laps. Mercedes will be hoping for better fortunes tomorrow.
|2||Gasly||Red Bull Racing||1:17.715||136|
|5||Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:18.589||99|