Formula 1 tests: Ricciardo faster than Hamilton
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo scores the fastest lap of the tests so far in Barcelona and also undercuts Lewis Hamilton. Vettel has to be a replacement.
On the second day of the second Formula 1 test week, the top teams apparently revealed their cards a little bit. Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo scored the fastest lap of the tests so far on Wednesday at the Circuit de Catalunya at half-time in 1’18.047 minutes. He was followed by world champion Lewis Hamilton in 1:18,400 and Ferrari star Sebastian Vettel (1:19,451).
However, Australian Ricciardo and Hamilton were on their top laps on Hypersoft, the softest tyre compound available. Vettel chose the harder soft. The four-time world champion had risen into the Ferrari SF71H at short notice after his team mate Kimi Räikkönen had called in sick on Wednesday morning. As planned, Vettel would not have taken his turn until Thursday.
Hamilton hands over the Silver Arrow to his Finnish stable mate Valtteri Bottas at half-time, as in the previous days. Renault will also be sharing jobs again on Wednesday: Nico Hülkenberg from Emmerich will take over the RS18 from the Spaniard Carlos Sainz junior at the half time of the test day.
The overall stability of the new cars is still impressive. However, McLaren remains the problem child. Due to an oil leak, former world champion Fernando Alonso had to take a forced break after two hours. Alonso reacted with known cynicism:”Today an early lunch break”, the Spaniard twittered:”But we had some good laps in the morning” On Tuesday his Belgian team mate Stoffel Vandoorne had to fight with battery problems.
The pilots enjoyed bright sunshine on Wednesday, and the asphalt warmed up to more than 35 degrees at noon. The forecasts for the next few days are similarly good. The second part of the test runs ends on Friday. The new season starts on 25. March in Melbourne (7.10 CEST).