Tuesday, 14 July, 2020


Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull will be closer in F1 2018 - Valtteri Bottas

Lewis Hamilton GETTYLewis Hamilton wasn't pleased the Barcelona track was
Noah Ferguson | 02 March, 2018, 10:56

Through Monday morning and the whole of Tuesday, Bottas managed 152 laps for Mercedes, with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton taking responsibility on Monday afternoon.

"I don't think I've ever driven in such cold conditions before in Formula One", said the Finn.

The talks came as cold temperatures as low as 2-3 degrees made getting temperature into the tyres nearly impossible on Tuesday.

But with the air temperature never registering above 5C all day, Vettel - who caused a red flag when he spun and dragged gravel onto the circuit at the first sequence of corners - described the weather as "the limiting factor" on the day. "But we made the most out of the day".

And in further bad news for the Brit, Wednesday's forecast is for more snow and rain, potentially rendering another session useless.

Kevin Magnussen had the biggest scare of the day.

Vandoorne's third-best time, however, came on a faster set of tires than Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton during practice for Mercedes
GETTYLewis Hamilton recorded the quickest lap time of the week in Mercedes

A turn in the weather led to a quiet final hour, with reports of snow in some areas of the circuit resulting in teams either stopping their programmes entirely or switching to short runs on the intermediate or wet tyres.

Daniel Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen was limited in his early running due to what Red Bull described as a "minor fuel leak" but was stronger later to finish fourth.

Arguably the other surprise story of Tuesday's testing was the pace of Stoffel Vandoorne in the McLaren, now using Renault engines after three unsuccessful seasons with Honda. But Mercedes announced after the lunch break was cancelled that Bottas would continue behind the wheel "to maximize our mileage after the poor track conditions limited running this morning".

It was a second consecutive hard day for McLaren, for whom Fernando Alonso lost the morning on the first day after a wheel-nut problem caused him to lose a wheel and spin after just six laps. "So, we were expecting to survive without cutting in the brake drums, but eventually we realized there was no chance, we needed to modify it to get some heat, and then it was fine". Teams will be preparing their second cars back in the factories while their test teams are on location.

In a welcome return to the F1 paddock, Robert Kubica lapped the track in his new role as Williams test driver. He completed 48 laps and the seventh fastest time.

Testing in northeastern Spain runs until Thursday.

The weather-affected opening days of pre-season testing have given few concrete clues as to how the pecking order could stand going into the campaign when it begins in Australia at the end of March.

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