On day six of pre-season testing the teams began exploring the performance of their new cars more fully.
Almost every team improved on its previous best time from the test. The exception was McLaren who missed a significant chunk of running today (yet still found time to lap 0.002s off their previous best).
And almost every team has now lapped quicker than it did at least year’s race weekend. The exception here is Ferrari, whose quickest time was set on the soft tyre which is only the four-softest compound available this year.
Daniel Ricciardo’s pace setting time today was done on the new hyper-softs, and the Scuderia’s supporters will be eagerly awaiting a run by an SF71H on the pink-coloured rubber.
How much quicker are they than last year?
Another team we can expect to see significant improvement on when they get around to their performance runs is Renault. They’re already 1.3 seconds inside their best time from last year’s race weekend on the medium tyres – softer rubber should see them make even greater gains.
The team also has further bodywork upgrades due to arrive before the end of the test, so keep an eye on the yellow car’s progress.
With only two days of running left the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari are unlikely to match their 2017 mileage totals because of the time lost last week due to poor weather conditions.
However the likes of Red Bull and Sauber are likely to improve on their showing from last year if their cars remain reliable over the next two days. The same potentially goes for McLaren, although more car trouble today saw them fall back to the bottom of the table.
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2018 pre-season testing so far
2017 pre-season testing total
2018 F1 season
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