Valtteri Bottas’ impressive benchmark remained unchallenged as he and reigning Formula 1 champions Mercedes rounded out the first pre-season test at Barcelona on top.

Bottas posted the fastest lap seen in testing so far in the morning on a 1m15.732s - set on Pirelli’s softest available tyres - to lead the way on the final day of running at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday.

Teammate and six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton also had a run on the C5 compound but was unable to better Bottas’ effort, managing a time that saw him 0.784s adrift in second place as Mercedes dominated the timesheets just as it did on the opening day.

As well as setting the pace throughout the first test, the German manufacturer also clocked the most mileage, with Hamilton and Bottas logging a combined haul of 493 laps to kick off its title defence in near-perfect fashion.

Mercedes finished over a second clear of the next fastest team, with Renault’s Esteban Ocon third-quickest, ahead of Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat, who made up the top five positions for Racing Point and AlphaTauri respectively.

Antonio Giovinazzi enjoyed a strong run for Alfa Romeo as he completed a mammoth 152 laps across the final day and set the sixth-best time.

Final timings from the third and final day of the opening F1 pre-season test. 

It was a mixed day for Renault as it enjoyed its best lap haul of the first test but also caused a red-flag when Daniel Ricciardo stopped on track with what appeared to be a technical problem.

The Australian managed to get back out for the closing stages and improved to seventh late on, outpacing former Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

A late Soft-tyre run saw Pierre Gasly split the Red Bull's in ninth as he ensured AlphaTauri racked up more than a century of laps thanks to his 56-lap haul from the morning and finished ahead of Alexander Albon and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

Romian Grosjean was next up in 12th for Haas, while Sebastian Vettel recovered from a mid-morning engine failure to log 100 laps for Ferrari as the Scuderia continued to steer clear of showing its hand and focused on fully understanding its new SF1000 challenger following on from the inconsistent performance of its SF90 in 2019.

Lando Norris endured a disrupted afternoon as he encountered some brake issues that left him garage-bound for a chunk of the session, before returning to the track late in the day on his way to 14th.

Nicholas Latifi also hit problems when his engine conked out shortly before the lunch break. The Canadian was sidelined for over four hours as Williams changed his power unit and got him back out to contest the final 60 minutes of running.

Having taken over from Haas teammate Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen completed just three laps before his and the American squad’s afternoon came to an early end when a right-rear puncture sent him into the Turn 8 barriers.

After a four-day break, the second three-day pre-season test takes place between February 26-28 at Barcelona.

 

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