The teams had enjoyed uninterrupted running throughout the opening day of running and that was looking to continue until a stoppage for Perez disrupted the final hour of the morning session. 

Perez’s Red Bull ground to a halt at Turn 13 with a suspected gearbox issue and had to be recovered, resulting in a 20-minute suspension to running. 

That prompted a busy end to the morning and Ricciardo wasted no time putting McLaren back to the top of the order after his teammate Lando Norris set the pace on the opening day. 

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Ricciardo pumped in a 1m20.355s on Pirelli’s C3 compound to leapfrog Carlos Sainz, who had led the way for Ferrari for much of the opening four hours on Thursday and also logged the most laps with 71. 

Pierre Gasly was another driver who saved his best until late in the session, with the Frenchman ending up half a second down on Ricciardo’s benchmark in his AlphaTauri. 

Alex Albon produced Williams’ fastest lap of testing so far to sit fourth, four-tenths ahead of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll

Sixth place went to Mick Schumacher, who completed 65 laps as Haas looks to make up for lost ground after floor damage hampered its running on Wednesday. 

Alfa Romeo’s lack of mileage continued on Thursday morning as Valtteri Bottas could only add 21 laps - the fewest of any team - to the Swiss outfit’s total from the first day. 

Perez was eighth ahead of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who clocked 40 laps before handing over the W13 to new Mercedes teammate George Russell in the afternoon. 

Esteban Ocon rounded out the morning order in 10th on his first outing for Alpine in Barcelona