Daniel Ricciardo set the second-fastest time of Formula 1 pre-season testing to send Renault to the top of the timesheets on the final morning of running at Barcelona.

Times tumbled around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as teams began to stretch their legs and provided a first real glimpse of their one-lap potential with attention shifting to performance work on the final day of winter testing before next month’s Australian Grand Prix.

Amid a flurry of action in the final hour of the morning session as drivers switched onto Pirelli’s softest available C5 compound, Ricciardo posted Renault’s best lap time of the winter on a 1m16.276s.

Ricciardo pipped Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to top spot by just 0.084s, with Lewis Hamilton third in the timesheets as he returned to action for Mercedes after an engine issue curtailed his running on the penultimate day.

The reigning world champion logged a strong haul of 90 laps on his way to finishing 0.134s off the pace and just 0.050s adrift of Leclerc in his final outing of testing. Ferrari and Mercedes were recorded at around 10kph slower through the speed traps compared to Ricciardo’s Renault at the time the fastest laps were completed.

Sergio Perez was fourth-quickest and just under four-tenths behind for Racing Point, while early session pacesetter Carlos Sainz managed 65 laps and took fifth spot in his McLaren.

Sixth place went the way of George Russell, who turned in Williams’ quickest lap of testing so far to end the morning just 0.595s off Ricciardo’s benchmark, while AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat and Haas driver Romain Grosjean were also within a second of the pace in seventh and eighth respectively.

Kimi Raikkonen recovered from an early spin to finish ninth, ahead of Alexander Albon, who saw his single-lap performance run hampered by a spin at Turn 12. The British-born Thai managed to escape from the gravel in his Red Bull but subsequently propped up the order in 10th.

The final four-hour session of the 2020 pre-season begins at 1400 hours local time (1300GMT) with Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen taking over driving duties for their respective teams.

 

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