Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

Barcelona Test Day Seven: Ferrari bounce back, Red Bull crash out

Charles Leclerc's benchmark-breaking lap time led a Ferrari fightback, whilst Pierre Gasly crashed out on day seven of pre-season testing.

Barcelona Test Day Seven: Ferrari bounce back, Red Bull crash out

In a stark contrast to their mysterious session-ending crash on Wednesday, the anticipated championship challengers powered through the current test record to fire warning shots to their rivals with a time of 1m16.231s, over half-a-second faster than the nearest competitor.

On a day where the majority of teams attempted higher-pace laps on the C5 tyres in the morning session, Ferrari's effort on the fastest tyre was six tenths faster than Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon, and eight-tenths faster than McLaren's Lando Norris.

The Toro Rosso driver was the first to deliver a lap below the 1m17s threshold, paving the way for Leclerc to whittle down the target time, eventually settling for his time in the low-1m16s. 

Despite the initial evidence on the timing screens, an earlier effort from the Monegasque driver will raise more eyebrows. Setting a 1m17.2s on the much-harder C2 tyre, an adjusted tyre delta puts the Ferrari in the high-1m15s, and Leclerc himself confirmed that much more pace was to come from both himself and the team.

"Obviously like every team we are not flat out," he said. "There is still some margin. There is a bit in myself, I still have to learn.

"I get more comfortable with the car lap after lap, and also the car itself. So it is looking good for now."

In spite of a late stoppage with twenty minutes to go, their 138-lap day was bettered only by Williams and reigning champions Mercedes, who once again were not involved in the fight for P1.

Read Also:

Gasly crashes out again

Whilst one promoted junior driver shone, another graduate was left to rue a mistake which prematurely ended Red Bull's test day.

Pierre Gasly had is second crash in as many weeks when he ended up in the barrier on the outside of turn nine.

He conceded that he'd made a mistake on the entry of the corner by running slightly too wide, which resulted in a loss of grip, a spin and a high-speed impact with the barrier, which required a precautionary trip to the medical centre.

“I went slightly wide, 10-15 cm and then lost it as I turned in," conceded Gasly.

“It was a pretty big impact, but we’ll focus on all the work we’ve done over the four days."

He finished fourth overall thanks to his morning sprint on the C5 tyre, but his lap counter went no higher than 65 laps.

The Renault duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg finished fifth and sixth respectively - and around three tenths of a second apart - after their flying laps on the C5 tyres, accumulating 138 laps for the Enstone team.

Lance Stroll brought out the red flags when his Racing Point car stopped on track with a sensor issue, but the Canadian still went on to complete over 100 laps, finishing the day seventh, ahead of Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and Haas' Romain Grosjean, who was sidelined for part of the afternoon with an exhaust issue.

Lewis Hamilton's best lap of 1m18.097s was the ninth-fastest time (on the C2 tyre), but Mercedes' insistence on long runs means that the Formula One world will have to wait until the final day to see if they throw on a set of C5 tyres and rise through the order. Bottas' afternoon session brought the team's total to 181 laps for the day, but he finished down in thirteenth.

Eleventh-placed George Russell's 140-lap haul meant Williams were the third most-productive team of the day as they built their confidence with a mix of qualifying and race simulations, whilst Haas' Kevin Magnussen ended the day twelfth.

Pos Driver   Team Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m16.231s   138
2 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1m16.882s +0.651 118
3 Lando Norris McLaren 1m17.084s +0.853 84
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1m17.091s +0.860 65
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m17.204s +0.973 65
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m17.496s +1.265 73
7 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1m17.556s +1.325 103
8 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1m17.639s +1.408 71
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1m17.854s +1.623 16
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.097s +1.866 85
11 George Russell Williams 1m18.130s +1.899 140
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1m18.199s +1.968 53
13 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m18.862s +2.631 96
shares
comments
Gasly "shaken" after big crash in Barcelona

Previous article

Gasly "shaken" after big crash in Barcelona

Next article

Ferrari and Haas both hit by exhaust problems

Ferrari and Haas both hit by exhaust problems
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Luke Murphy
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021