Alexander Albon led Toro Rosso to the head of the standings in the final morning session of the first Formula 1 pre-season test, edging clear of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Having seen teammate Daniil Kvyat set the fastest time overall on Wednesday, F1 rookie Albon managed to follow the Russian’s lead by going P1 with a new best time of the winter test.

COTA #1 - Together At Last

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Albon set his time of 1m17.637s on the C5 tyre – the softest available compound in pre-season – to pip Ricciardo to top spot by one-tenth of a second.

Ricciardo recorded Renault’s best time of the test so far to go P2, finishing ahead of Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes began to stretch the legs of its new W10 car after focusing on long-runs for the past three days.

Hamilton’s time was set on the C4 tyre, leaving him three-tenths back from Albon on top spot. He will hand over to teammate Valtteri Bottas this afternoon.

Hamilton was fortunate to avoid a collision with Williams’ Robert Kubica in the closing stages of the session as the pair ran close in the final sector, but managed to take evasive action at the last moment.

Ferrari continued to rack up the miles with its new SF90 car as Charles Leclerc managed more than one race distance through the morning session despite a brief spin into the gravel during the final hour. He finished fourth-fastest, seven-hundredths of a second off Hamilton’s time.

Antonio Giovinazzi took fifth for Alfa Romeo ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean, while Pierre Gasly took P7 for Red Bull.

Lando Norris caused the only red flag of the morning session after running into the gravel on cold tyres early on. The McLaren MCL34 was recovered before getting back on-track shortly after, allowing Norris complete 48 laps.

Lance Stroll wound up ninth for Racing Point with 41 laps on the board, while Kubica propped up the timesheets in a trouble-free morning for Williams, turning in 48 laps for the beleaguered team.



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