Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Ricciardo beats unofficial track record as lap times tumble on day six

2018 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo lowered the unofficial track record for the Circuit de Catalunya as all bar one of the teams set their quickest time of pre-season testing so far on Wednesday.

The Red Bull driver lapped the 4.6 kilometre track in 1’18.047, almost three-tenths of a second inside the previous testing record set by Felipe Massa while testing for Ferrari in 2008.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018
F1 testing day six in pictures
Ricciardo use the hyper-soft tyres to establish a new benchmark time shortly after noon. A short while before Lewis Hamilton used the ultra-softs to set his best time of the day in the Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas took over the W09 in the afternoon as Mercedes completed another extensive day of running. However they were almost matched by Red Bull and outstripped by Renault, the latter covering 190 laps with their RS18.

Ferrari had a slight disruption to their day. Kimi Raikkonen was scheduled to test for them but Sebastian Vettel started the day in the car before handing over to his team mate later.

Other teams had bigger problems. McLaren spent most of the day in the garage after further stoppages for Fernando Alonso led to a fresh power unit being fitted. McLaren was the only team not to improve their best time of the test, though Alonso got within two-thousandths of a second of it.

Brendon Hartley caused another red flag in his Toro Rosso but returned to the track to set the fifth-quickest time shortly before the end of the session, displacing Alonso by a few hundredths. Romain Grosjean’s Haas was also not seen for several hours following an oil leak.

The test was extended after Charles Leclerc spun at turn 12, bringing out the red flags with five minutes to go. The cars were allowed back on the track for a final run to conduct practice starts.

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
13Daniel RicciardoRed BullRB141’18.047165Hyper-soft
244Lewis HamiltonMercedesW091’18.4000.35390Ultra-soft
377Valtteri BottasMercedesW091’18.5600.51383Ultra-soft
45Sebastian VettelFerrariSF71H1’19.5411.49466Soft
528Brendon HartleyToro RossoSTR131’19.8231.776119Hyper-soft
614Fernando AlonsoMcLarenMCL331’19.8561.80955Hyper-soft
755Carlos Sainz JnrRenaultRS181’20.0421.99588Medium
88Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-181’20.2372.19076Soft
97Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSF71H1’20.2422.19547Soft
1018Lance StrollWilliamsFW411’20.3492.30263Soft
1127Nico HulkenbergRenaultRS181’20.7582.711102Super-soft
1231Esteban OconForce IndiaVJM111’20.8052.758130Soft
1316Charles LeclercSauberC371’20.9182.871160Super-soft
1435Sergey SirotkinWilliamsFW411’22.3504.30378Soft

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 47 comments on “Ricciardo beats unofficial track record as lap times tumble on day six”

    1. Finally, about time someone beat the outright lap record.

      1. In my humble opinion these records ought to be official.

        A track record should literally be the fastest anyone has ever lapped (that layout of) the track. It shouldn’t matter what session it was in, or what category / series. As long as it was recorded by a certified lap timer then it ought to stand

        1. during the testing the cars don’t have to comply with the technical requirements.
          so the owners of the track can use the time in their advertisment or sth, but the FIA or FOM can’t use it as “fastest lap by an F1 car”

      2. Can these V6 f1 car go under 1.14mins on pole lap? If not mistaken back in 2006, Fernando Alonso set pole record 1.14mins. Correct me if im wrong.

        1. Pole lap record is 1.14.648 by Alonso and it does look like even with softer tyres we are long way off that record. Maybe the race lap record of 1.21.670 will fall this year.

        2. Different track layout.

        3. That lap was done on the old layout of the track. No mickey mouse chicane, just two flat out right handers to end the lap.

      3. digitalrurouni
        8th March 2018, 15:01

        What is even more impressive is that the cars are SO MUCH heavier than the previous cars that set the records!

    2. Wonder if it odds possible that McLaren gearbox is eating engines? Does it have some strange vibrations maybe? Or maybe it is their suspension or just cooling. Probably a combination of things.

    3. Imagine a mechanism that to work is dependent on two variables, lets call those X and Y.

      We know the mechanism isn’t working, and we know that the problem is with Y, we try to fix Y but it still doesn’t work. X is perfectly fine.

      But despite all that we bring in the variable Z, and we replace X with Z, all of a sudden the mechanism works. More, we bring in another variable, call it W, we know W works well, we pair it with X to form a new mechanism, but that mechanism doesn’t work either, even though we have two working variables.

      Now imagine we never knew Y was broken

      1. If I’m understanding correctly, the coefficient is 1634?

      2. You know I joked early last week about a conspiracy theory of Honda wanting free of McLaren to cosy up to Red Bull being behind how disastrous last season was but it’s sounding less crazy as time passes.

        1. Oops, not meant as a reply

      3. Don’t forget that Z + W worked pretty ok as well |-)

    4. I’m hyped! Let’s hope we see the bulls fighting Mercedes and Ferrari regularly!

      On McLaren… how does it feel to see Honda working like a Swiss watch under that Toro Rosso?

      1. They should call it a Tag Heuer … Oh wait, they will next year when it’s in the Red Bull.

        1. I doubt Honda will name its engine tag heuer.

    5. With McLaren, you are always thinking “they can’t possibly do THAT now, can they?” but than you’re like “Dayem, they actually did it”. It’s like the joke that keeps on giving.

    6. I’d hope the tire choises were shown in the lap time table

      1. They are in the F1 releases.

        I’d guess the tire compound is not available to @keithcollantine and staff because they work with database tables that were designed with RaceFans’ purposes in mind.

      2. What I would like to see is fastest lap times per compound…. and speed trap readings…. again per compound

    7. This year’s times so far are not impressive at all compared to last year.

    8. You know I joked early last week about a conspiracy theory of Honda wanting free of McLaren to cosy up to Red Bull being behind how disastrous last season was but it’s sounding less crazy as time passes.

      1. Less crazy but still crazy ;)

        I mean they where teaming up with Sauber for a while there. I still think it was a mistake of Sauber to let Honda pass by.

        1. Indeed @rethla! Honda came in with free engines! The whole fiasco played out wrong for Sauber actually. Getting Alfa Romeo was a good stroke of luck because Ferrari wanted to promote Alfa, and Sauber was the only real team that would be ready to shed its colors. Torro Rosso won’t have done it, I assume. Now Sauber will be limping duck on Ferrari’s whims. Being the works team for Honda could have worked wonders, actually for the little team.

          It was about time Honda figured out the wrongs and set them right, and under that Torro Rosso, it has been doing wonders. It is, however, early days to pass out a judgment. By mid-season, we will all know how the decision panned out to be. McLaren already had accepted last year that if Honda does produce a gem of an engine for 2018, then it will be a loss to McLaren however a loss that they are well prepare to absorb.

          For now, I am more worried about the underdogs, Force India. They have a lot of lose, unlike Sauber, Torro Rosso, Renault and McLaren.

          1. @hemzshaw

            Force India had a good run, but I think they’re almost certain this year to fall behind McLaren and Renault. The Williams car looks promising but FI’s drivers may rescue them.

      2. A couple of years ago, it was rumoured that Red Bull Racing had a full car test rig, that not only could be piloted by a driver, but fully automatically too. You can pretty much guarantee that Torro Rosso and Honda have done some very extensive testing on the rig, in order to get things working together harmoniously…

    9. digitalrurouni
      7th March 2018, 19:46

      So Hamilton in the Mercedes did his time on the Ultrasoft and Ricciardo in the Red Bull did his time on the hypersofts. That sound about right? That Merc is ominously quick in 1 lap. Wonder how it’s been treating its tires though!

      1. “Ricciardo used the hyper-soft tyres to establish a new benchmark time shortly after noon. A short while before Lewis Hamilton used the same rubber to set his best time of the day in the Mercedes.”

        1. @br444m – the table and the text are indeed contradictory. Pirelli tweeted a table as above but peoples at the testing observed as per the text. One of them is probably correct.

          1. @br444m @juan-fanger I thought Hamilton had done his time on hypers but according to Pirelli they were ultras so I’ve revised this part.

    10. Now we’re talking! Still not impressive given that the track was resurfaced and the time was set on Hypers. RAI last year set a 1:18.6 on SuperSofts.

      1. I think top teams can get in 17’s on medium. Times so far are a few seconds off….pure gut feeling. Look at yesterdays times its as if everyone turned the switch up a little today as nearly everyone beat or got close to yesterdays times. These times as ever are useless to look at. FP3 Australia will be as close as we get to knowing before it counts.

      2. Lewis did a 1.18.9 on mediums today.

    11. we need another soft compound. “velvety soft” sounds good.

      1. Soft
        Spreads on toast-soft

        1. I really want hyper-mega soft

        2. What? No, Super-Duper-soft in your list?

        3. I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter-Soft?

          1. Mentioned this earlier..Damn-Soft is the way to go !!

    12. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      7th March 2018, 21:40

      The fact that Vettel was on softs is giving me hope.

      1. Don’t stress, they’ll be up there

    13. Where’s Force India? I hope they are sandbagging

      1. Force India is a vagabonding. Looking for a home.

        1. Good one!

    14. The most impressive time was a 1:18.9 that Lewis did on a set of mediums.
      But it is shaping up nicely. I still think Mercedes is little bit ahead, but is a long season.

    Comments are closed.