The final day of the first pre-season test produced a number of unexpected results, with one surprise – for those unwisely paying too close attention to the stopwatches – being that Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg ended with the fastest time seen so far.
This was despite him and teammate Daniel Ricciardo completing the Enstone outfit’s lowest lap count of the test so far – just 58 laps were posted between them, which was barely one-third of the 172-lap marathon the RS19 had managed the day before.
The Renault duo was split on the timesheets by Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon, who continued teammate Daniil Kvyat’s impressive turn of pace shown yesterday in the Honda-powered STR14. The Anglo-Thai driver posted 136 laps in his second day of driving the Faenza team’s 2019 challenger.
The driver with the highest mileage of the day was Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, who singlehandedly totalled 154 laps in the Ferrari-powered C38 despite two stoppages late in the day. The Italian’s former Formula 2 teammate and championship rival Pierre Gasly also managed a healthy mileage tally for Red Bull Racing, with the Frenchman completing 146 laps in the RB15.
Their fellow Formula 2 graduates Charles Leclerc (138 laps) and Lando Norris (132 laps) also had productive outings for Ferrari and McLaren respectively.
The Haas F1 Team managed 130 laps with its VF-19, with driving duties shared between teammates Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Mercedes-AMG maintained its practice of splitting its driving duties between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Both unleashed a little more of the pace that many believe is hiding under the cowling of the W10 and clocked 115 laps between them.
Lance Stroll had his second day behind the wheel of Racing Point’s RP19 challenger, with the Canadian completing a solid but unspectacular 72 laps by day’s end.
Languishing at the bottom of the timesheets was Williams, which set about making up for lost track time after being unable to run its FW42 for the first two-and-a-half days of testing. The Mercedes-powered car managed a total of 65 laps – almost a Grand Prix distance – between George Russell and Robert Kubica, although the latter had two spins and succeeded in blocking both Hamilton and Leclerc during his first hit-out in the new car.
The second and final four-day pre-season test starts on February 26.
|2019 FORMULA 1 PRE-SEASON TEST – DAY 4 UNOFFICIAL TIMES|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:17.393||24|
|2.||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:17.637||+ 0.244||136|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:17.785||+ 0.392||34|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:17.857||+ 0.464||57|
|5.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:17.977||+ 0.584||58|
|6.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF90||1:18.046||+ 0.653||138|
|7.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL34||1:18.431||+ 1.038||132|
|8.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C38||1:18.511||+ 1.118||154|
|9.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:18.563||+ 1.170||64|
|10.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:18.720||+ 1.327||66|
|11.||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing RB15||1:18.780||+ 1.387||146|
|12.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP19||1:19.664||+ 2.271||72|
|13.||Robert Kubica||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:20.997||+ 3.604||17|
|14.||George Russell||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:21.542||+ 4.149||78|
Image via Renault Sport F1