With four action-packed days of pre-season testing under their belts last week, the Formula 1 teams returned to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for their final hit-out ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Every team came with a wealth of new development parts to test out and once again the focus of the day was on mileage rather than posting a headline-grabbing lap time.

For what it was worth, the top of the time sheets were crowded by the series’ youngsters, with McLaren rookie Lando Norris narrowly edging Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly by a scant six-thousandths of a second.

While Norris may have been the day’s pace-setter, the English youngster did not have a drama-free day. His morning’s running was interrupted by a hydraulics-induced stoppage, and shortly after posting his quickest time of the day in the afternoon session his MCL34 again ground to a halt. His 80 laps was well short of what the Woking squad – which was paid a surprise visit by former driver Fernando Alonso – would have hoped for and it actually proved to be the lowest mileage achieved by any team for the day.

Top of the mileage tally but languishing towards the bottom of the time sheets was the factory Renault squad. Splitting its running between Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, the duo posted a combined total of 157 laps for the day – well over two Grand Prix distances between them.

Second-fastest Gasly was the day’s highest solo mileage accumulator, posting 136 laps in his Honda-powered RB15. The Frenchman was shadowed by Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, who managed 131 tours of the Spanish Grand Prix venue in his Ferrari-powered VF-19.

A team in desperate need of mileage is Williams, thanks to its new FW42 being late to make its on-track debut. With George Russell at the wheel, the new car was put through an extensive programme and clocked 119 laps for the day – more than what the team had managed in their less than two days of running last week.

Scuderia Ferrari opted to split its running between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, although Leclerc’s programme was limited to just 29 laps while the team investigated alarmingly high temperatures under the SF90’s cowling. Teammate Vettel had a drama-free afternoon session and managed 81 laps, giving the team a combined total of 110 laps for the day.

Alexander Albon (Scuderia Toro Rosso) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) both had productive days, clocking up 103 and 99 laps respectively by the end of the day.

Defending champions Mercedes suffered their first evident mechanical drama on their W10. After Lewis Hamilton managed 83 laps in the morning session, teammate Valtteri Bottas was forced back into the pits after a handful of laps with an oil pressure issue. The team opted to change the entire power unit, which kept the Finn confined to the garage for almost the rest of the day.

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team MCL34 1:17.709 80
2. Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing RB15 1:17.715 + 0.006 136
3. Lance Stroll Racing Point F1 Team RP19 1:17.824 + 0.115 82
4. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:17.925 + 0.216 81
5. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing C38 1:18.589 + 0.880 99
6. Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:18.649 + 0.940 103
7. Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:18.651 + 0.942 29
8. Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team VF-19 1:18.769 + 1.060 131
9. George Russell ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 1:19.662 + 1.953 119
10. Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team RS19 1:20.107 + 2.398 77
11. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:20.167 + 2.458 7
12. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:20.332 + 2.623 83
13. Nico Hülkenberg Renault F1 Team RS19 1:20.348 + 2.639 80

Image via LAT

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.