Bottas puts Mercedes back in charge on final day of testing
Valtteri Bottas concluded pre-season testing with the fastest lap on Friday, allowing Mercedes to retain its bragging rights as the best performing team in Barcelona.
Bottas logged 60 laps in the afternoon session, setting a best time on the C5 tyre of 1m16.196s, that just beat Max Verstappen’s best by 0.073s. The Finn also ends the week with the best lap over in testing, his milestone 1m15.732s withstanding the test of time in Week 2.
Daniel Ricciardo’s morning benchmark put the Renault driver third third overall, 0.080s adrift from pacesetter Bottas.
Charles Leclerc’s effort earlier in the day left the Ferrari driver fourth at the end of the session, the Monegasque ending his afternoon with a whopping 166 laps on the board.
Bottas, Verstappen, Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen took over from their respective teammates after the lunch break while the rest of the field remained unchanged.
Ocon’s afternoon 67-lap tally surpassed Ricciardo’s morning workout, but the Frenchman couldn’t match his teammate’s pace, concluding his day P6, over a tenth away from the Aussie.
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Kevin Magnussen’s program was hampered by a clutch issue on his VF-20 that left the Dane stranded in the Haas garage and with just 26 laps or f running.
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