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Valtteri Bottas has set a fresh benchmark for F1 2017 with a new fastest lap in pre-season testing of 1m 19.705s to streak clear of the chasing pack on the morning of day three, while Jolyon Plamer causes the sole stoppage after a spin in the Renault.

Mercedes' unrelenting testing programme continued with Bottas after completing a full race simulation yesterday, as the reigning F1 world champions got to work on outright qualifying performance using the full range of Pirelli tyres.

Having initially broken the 1m 20s barrier using the red banded super softs Bottas then went fractionally quicker on the purple ultra-softs, despite losing time in the final sector as the tyre performance faded, to set the rest of the F1 field a new target.

With F1 teams running respective testing programmes nobody aimed to directly challenge Mercedes but Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo ended the morning second fastest using the soft tyres with a 1m 21.153s - almost one and a half second off Bottas.

Palmer recovered from an early spin on cold tyres into the gravel trap at turn three to go third quickest also using soft tyres two tenths off the Red Bull.

Vettel, who initially set the pace on low track temperature, ended his second morning in the Ferrari SF70H to take fourth despite not appearing to chase outright lap times having notched up 69 laps - a number only trumped by Mercedes.

Sauber shook off power unit troubles from Tuesday to reach over 50 laps with Marcus Ericsson while Lance Stroll recovered from a nightmare F1 debut with Williams to complete close to a race distance amount of laps after being installed in the car today ahead of Felipe Massa.

But the Canadian teenager did suffer a late off on his in lap after the chequered flag fell on the morning session.

Force India development driver Alfonso Celis Jr completed aerodynamic test work having not chased one lap pace, while McLaren enjoyed a more productive session as Fernando Alonso match his total lap count from his opening day in the MCL32 with no reported mechanical issues.

Despite missing over two hours of track time on the morning of day three, Daniil Kvyat still completed 31 laps with a best time of 1m 23.952s ahead of Romain Grosjean who made his debut in the VF17 for Haas having taken over from Kevin Magnussen who drove for both opening test days.

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