Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Lap time watch: 2019 F1 testing day seven

2019 F1 season

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With one day left in pre-season testing all 10 teams have lapped quicker than in this test last year and six of them have also covered more mileage than they did 12 months ago.

Only one team did not improve on its best lap time of testing so far on day seven: Mercedes. However they continue to lead the mileage table, ending the day just a few laps shy of the 5,000 kilometre mark.

Ferrari set a new fastest time of testing so far. Charles Leclerc’s lap of 1’17.231 is 0.951 seconds faster than the team managed last year. Red Bull has improved on its 2018 lap time by virtual the same amount, but as yet Mercedes have only found half a second compared to this test last year. The same is true of Haas, though they are the only team not to have used the softest tyres to set their quickest time.

Toro Rosso has posted the biggest year-on-year lap time improvement so far, lapping 1.481s faster than in 2018 pre-season testing. But there’s not much in it: Alfa Romeo are 1.479s faster than last year and Racing Point are 1.411s quicker.

PositionTeamModelTimeGapTyre
1FerrariSF901’16.231C5
2Toro RossoSTR141’16.8820.651C5
3McLarenMCL341’17.0840.853C5
4Red BullRB151’17.0910.860C5
5RenaultRS191’17.2040.973C5
6Racing PointRP191’17.5561.325C5
7Alfa RomeoC381’17.6391.408C5
8HaasVF-191’17.8541.623C4
9MercedesW101’17.8571.626C5
10WilliamsFW421’18.1301.899C5

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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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  • 13 comments on “Lap time watch: 2019 F1 testing day seven”

    1. Nice that Williams have nearly caught up to Haas on test mileage.

      And their relative lap improvement looks solid….

      Fingers crossed!

      1. @mach1, I presume that you mean Racing Point rather than Haas, because Williams would need to make up a difference of about 1000km to catch Haas (Haas are on nearly 3280km, whereas Williams are on 2220km).

        The relative lap time improvement may be solid, but as Keith notes in his article, the other midfield teams have made a fairly significant step forward too. It therefore raises the possibility that Williams’s gains might only be enough to keep up with the rest of the grid, rather than moving forwards on the grid – particularly since a few of those teams, such as Force India, are already planning fairly sizeable update packages for the first race.

        Even if they have improved so far, the problem is whether they can keep up in terms of development. Whilst they’ve talked about how this car should be a better platform for development, if they missed their production goals for the first test, that could have disrupted their plans for any upgrades for Australia (if they had anything planned). After all, they will need to present their cars for scruitineering in two weeks time, so they are likely to already be beginning to transport parts out to Australia for that first race by now. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a slight production logjam to deal with because of that, and are therefore a little slow in developing the car in the opening races.

    2. Hopefully, tomorrow into the 1m15s, which would be the first ever sub-1m16s lap time on the current 2007-present layout, and also be quite close to how the lap times tended to be without the sector three chicane pre-2007.

    3. Best lap times per compound… please!

    4. Keith there is a typo i think in the text… you say

      “Ferrari set a new fastest time of testing so far. Charles Leclerc’s lap of 1’17.231”

      but in the table the time is 1’16.231

    5. Mercedes are sandbaging a lot. It’s crystal clear. The best mileage by far and using only the hardest and medium hard compounds. They did exactly the same thing at last year’s tests.

    6. How much slower were the 2019 cars supposed to be? 1.5 seconds, right?
      Considering this is just the beginning by the time of the Spanish GP where many teams arrive with substantial upgrades, they will smash the 2018 lap times (if the weather permits it)

      1. @bakano, that figure of 1.5 seconds is bandied about a bit, but the context in which that statement was made is often forgotten. That was a theoretical predicted loss for an unoptimised design, but it was expected that a lot of teams would recover much of that before the start of this season.

      2. @bakano Yes indeed. 1.5 secs was the initial estimation by the FIA made back when these aero changes were first announced in late-April last year, but at least around the Circuit de Catalunya 2019 is already on par if not ahead of 2018 lap time-wise.

        1. Well the 2018 Q3 tyre was the old supersoft (which doesn’t really exist in the new C1-C5 range, but it wasn’t the fastest tyre), so they’re not really quite on 2018 pace just yet.

    7. @tommk, last year at the pre-season test, Vettel’s best time was done on the fastest tyre (hyper) and also on the 7th day of testing; now also on the fastest tyre his (less-experienced) team-mate was almost 1s faster.
      Hamilton’s time in the 2018 testing was also done on a faster tyre (ultras) than the one he used 2,5 months later, but the combination of several factors (different goals in testing, party mode and the 2,5 months of progress and improvements) made him gain more than 1.2s.
      If Mercedes has the same type of progress this year, Hamilton can in theory achieve a time well inside the 1m15s (based on their best time with C2 and the differences between tyres listed by Pirelly, Mercedes best time on the C5 might be 1m16s297ms so right on par with Ferrari).

      Or if you disagree with the adjusted best time for Mercedes (this came from the official F1 site by-the-way) then Ferrari can also achieve a time in the mid 1m15s by applying the same time difference between pre-season testing and Q3.

      1. Ups, wrong place in the thread for this reply…

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