Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Lap time watch: 2019 F1 testing day four

2019 F1 season

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At the end of the first test four teams have lapped quicker than they did last year including Mercedes – but not Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas used the softest tyres in Pirelli range, the C5 (comparable to last year’s hyper-soft) to lap 0.543s faster than the team did during last year’s test. However that is still 1.6 seconds slower than their best lap from the race weekend at the same track.

Renault set the fast time of the test, lapping 0.699s inside their benchmark from 12 months ago. Unlike Mercedes, this is also almost four-tenths quicker than their best race weekend time. Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso remain the only other teams to have improved on both counts.

Charles Leclerc improved Ferrari’s best time of the test again today, but the team continues to avoid setting quicker times on the softer tyres. However Pirelli estimates the performance gap between the C3s, which Ferrari set its best time on, and the C5s, which the others used, at 1.5-1.7 seconds. That indicates Ferrari could knock a second off Renault’s benchmark time simply by changing tyres.

Seven out of the 10 teams completed more than 2,000 kilometres of testing over the first four days, a remarkable achievement. They include McLaren, who have covered nearly three-quarters as much distance as last year in half as much time.

2Toro RossoSTR141’17.6370.244C5
3Alfa RomeoC381’17.7620.369C5
8Red BullRB151’18.7801.387C3
9Racing PointRP191’19.6642.271C2

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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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5 comments on “Lap time watch: 2019 F1 testing day four”

  1. Pirelli:
    * The C2 is 0.9s faster than the C1
    * The C3 is 0.7s faster than the C2
    * The C4 is 0.6s faster than the C3
    * The C5 is 0.6s faster than the C4

    1. Exactly so the gap between the C3 and C5 is 1.2 secs x not the massive 1.5 – 1.7 quoted above.

      That would put the Ferrari 0.5 secs ahead of the Renault which seems more realistic.

      1. Considering Ferrari were nearly 1.7s faster than Renault towards the end of last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were over a second faster right now as well.

        Although, it’s hard to say who’s where after only 4 days of testing. I think the last two days of the final test is when we get teams putting in quick lap times on the softer compounds. My gut tells me Ferrari’s at least a few tenths ahead of Mercedes, who are a couple of tenths ahead of Red Bull… but let’s wait and see.

    2. And yet Mercedes were only. 2 seconds faster on c4 than c3, and only. 1 seconds faster on c5 than c4. i don’t thing those pirelli guides are accurate for the temperatures at Barcelona. What I found most impressive was ferrari c3 times in low 1:18s on long stints, equal to Mercedes c3 on short stints

  2. Kimberley Barrass
    22nd February 2019, 7:16

    Last years actual times, which I note aren’t in the article:

    Fastest lap, by team

    1 Ferrari (Sebastian Vettel) 17.182 hyper-soft tyre
    2 McLaren (Fernando Alonso) 1:17.784 hyper-soft
    3 Red Bull (Daniel Ricciardo) 1:18.047 hyper-soft
    4 Renault (Carlos Sainz) 1:18.092 hyper-soft
    5 Haas (Kevin Magnussen) 1:18.360 super-soft
    6 Toro Rosso (Pierre Gasly) 1:18.363 hyper-soft
    7 Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton) 1:18.400 ultra-soft
    8 Force India (Esteban Ocon) 1:18.967 hyper-soft
    9 Sauber (Charles Leclerc) 1:19.118 hyper-soft
    10 Williams (Sergey Sirotkin) 1:19.189 soft

    Official Pirelli tyre offsets: hyper-soft – 0.7secs – ultra-soft – 0.6secs – super-softs -0.4secs – softs – 0.8secs – medium

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