Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Lap time watch: 2019 F1 testing day three

2019 F1 season

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Today Alfa Romeo became the first team to lap quicker with its 2019 car than it did last year. They were swiftly joined by Toro Rosso, who ended the day on top of the times.

Both Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat used the softest tyre available – the C5s, approximate to last year’s hyper-softs – to set their session-topping times, according to Pirelli.

To put those times in perspective, both teams used the hyper-softs to set their quickest times in last year’s test. But both ranked in the lower half of the field at that point in the championship. The performance they appear to have at this pace is consistent with the gains both teams made in the latter half of 2018.

Sebastian Vettel’s lap of 1’18.161 on the C3 compound – analogous to a 2018 soft tyre – still stands out as the most impressive in terms of outright performance.

And while Mercedes might have ‘only’ set the eighth-fastest time so far, note the huge difference between their fastest test and race laps at the Circuit de Catalunya last year. The W10 might as well be towing a caravan.

The name of the game is still mileage and by that metric Mercedes are doing better than anyone, having edged ahead of Ferrari. In the first three days of the eight-day test, two teams have already covered more than half the mileage they did last year: McLaren (52%) and Renault (50%).

1Toro RossoSTR141’17.704C5
2Alfa RomeoC381’17.7620.058C5
6Red BullRB151’18.7871.083C3
9Racing PointRP191’19.9442.240C3

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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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