Renault closed out the opening Formula 1 pre-season test fastest after Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo both finished inside the top three on Thursday in Barcelona.

After seeing Ricciardo take P2 behind Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon in the morning session, Hulkenberg managed to set the fastest time of pre-season so far in the Renault R.S.19 in the penultimate hour of running.

The German’s lap time of 1m17.393s was enough to take top spot by two-tenths of a second from Albon, whose morning time otherwise went unbeaten.

Hulkenberg’s charge to P1 was not without a setback, though, as an issue forced him to park up at the side of the track in the final hour of running, bringing his day to a premature end.

F1 rookie Albon was one of five drivers to complete more than 100 laps on Thursday, splitting the Renault drivers as Ricciardo took third place overall following his morning appearance.

Mercedes also opted to split the day between drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton as they finished fourth and fifth respectively with their fastest times of the winter so far. The team had previously focused on long-run pace in Barcelona, but still managed to rack up 112 laps between its drivers on Thursday.

Charles Leclerc took sixth for Ferrari, completing more than two race distances, while Lando Norris bounced back from an early stoppage to finish the day with 131 laps on the board for McLaren in P7.

Antonio Giovinazzi was the mileage leader for Alfa Romeo on Thursday as he racked up 153 laps, finishing P8 overall. The Italian sparked two red flags late in the day, stopping at pit exit with six minutes left on the clock before a second and final stoppage upon the chequered flag.

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen managed a combined 130 laps for Haas as the team bounced back from a difficult Wednesday, with the pair finishing ninth and 10th respectively.

Pierre Gasly gave Red Bull-Honda its most productive day of pre-season so far as he managed 146 laps, finishing 11th overall ahead of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.

Williams’ first full day of pre-season running yielded 65 laps, with Robert Kubica getting his first taste of the new FW42 car in the morning session. Teammate George Russell took over for the afternoon, but could only complete 17 laps.

Test running resumes on Tuesday February 26 in Barcelona, lasting another four days until Friday March 1.



Loading Comments...