Alfa Romeo Formula 1 reserve driver Robert Kubica set the fastest time on the first day of the second 2020 pre-season test at Barcelona, which was disrupted by three red flags. 

Kubica’s 1m16.942s - set on Pirelli’s softest available C5 compound in the morning session - went unchallenged throughout the afternoon as the Pole remained top of the timesheets at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It was the quickest time managed by Alfa Romeo and the second-fastest lap of the winter so far. 

Kubica ended the day 0.405s clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who moved up the order with a late flurry of improvements on the C3 Medium compound. 

Verstappen suffered two spins in the afternoon, the latter of which occurred at Turn 10 and concluded the Dutchman’s day prematurely. A simultaneous stoppage for AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat at Turn 9 resulted in a red flag period that signalled the end of running.

Sergio Perez was third-quickest for Racing Point as the Silverstone squad continued its promising start to pre-season in Barcelona.

Kvyat and AlphaTauri teammate Pierre Gasly were fourth and fifth ahead of Red Bull's Alexander Albon, whose morning programme was limited due to suspension problems as both Honda-powered outfits lost track time in the morning.

Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton racked up 89 laps in the morning and was seventh-fastest, outpacing Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who added to Mercedes’ strong mileage haul with 90 laps.

10th-placed Sebastian Vettel caused the first red flag of the second test when he ran wide through the Turn 8 gravel and was sent into a half-spin, though he was still able to turn in 84 laps before handing over to Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc in the afternoon.

Morning runners Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz were separated by just 0.007s as they finished 11th and 12th in the timesheets for Renault and McLaren respectively, ahead of Leclerc and the Williams duo of Nicholas Latifi and George Russell.

Latifi managed 48 laps before he caused the second red flag stoppage of the day when his WF43 ground to a halt on the run to Turn 9 with an engine problem which Williams was able to fix so that Russell could complete the team’s afternoon programme.

Romain Grosjean was the only driver to conduct a full day of running as he logged more than 100 laps for Haas, as Lando Norris, Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon propped up the timesheets.

 

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