Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Rapid Leclerc puts Ferrari well ahead on morning of day seven

2019 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc smashed the best lap time of testing so far as he put Ferrari comfortably ahead on the morning of the penultimate day of running.

The team’s new driver for the 2019 F1 season set a best of 1’16.231, almost a second faster than Ferrari’s best lap time from pre-season testing last year, and within a tenth of a second of last year’s pole position time at the Circuit de Catalunya.

With Leclerc one of several drivers having their last tests before the first race of the season, eight teams improved on their nest lap time of testing so far on the morning of day seven. Among them was Alexander Albon in the Toro Rosso, who was the only other driver to break the 77 second barrier.

Lando Norris put his McLaren third and Pierre Gasly got within seven-hundredths of a second of his time in the Red Bull.

Fifth-placed Nico Hulkenberg was the first of two drivers who did not improve their team’s benchmark time. The other was Lewis Hamilton, who put another 85 laps on the Mercedes as the team continues to log more mileage than any of their rivals.

Lance Stroll lowered Racing Point’s best time to a 1’17.556, though the team continues to complete fewer laps than its rivals. He was just under a tenth of a second ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo.

George Russell improved Williams’ best time to a 1’18.130, leaving Haas now as the slowest team in testing.

2019 pre-season testing day seven morning lap times

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
116Charles LeclercFerrariSF901’16.23156C5
223Alexander AlbonToro RossoSTR141’16.8820.65175C5
34Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL341’17.0840.85366C5
410Pierre GaslyRed BullRB151’17.0910.86044C5
527Nico HulkenbergRenaultRS191’17.4961.26573C5
618Lance StrollRacing PointRP191’17.5561.32537C5
799Antonio GiovinazziAlfa RomeoC381’17.6391.40849C5
844Lewis HamiltonMercedesW101’18.0971.86685C2
963George RussellWilliamsFW421’18.1301.89945C5
1020Kevin MagnussenHaasVF-191’18.1991.96853C3

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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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  • 14 comments on “Rapid Leclerc puts Ferrari well ahead on morning of day seven”

    1. Mercedes – head down – get the laps in – just like last year if memory serves.

      1. and the year before, and the year before, and the year before, and the year before.

    2. If we convert Lewis C2 time using Pirelli reference to C5, he already beat last year pole time and into 1m15s with heavier and less aero car…

      1. Leclerc done 1m17.253s with C2.

        1. Good reminder.

    3. The obsession with the Merc pace this testing is strong. I’m sure there are tons of folks out there hoping that these lap times are true reflection of the cars actual pace. For me, I just want a close battle for podiums with more than 3 teams.

    4. This might sound weird but are Renault sandbagging ?

      1. Maybe, given mclarens 1 lap pace with same engine. Maybe not

        1. I think yes, they did a faster lap in the prevoius testing week, and then said “we only tried the C5”. So this time it’s not even close to a possible quali time. Let’s see afternoon or tomorrow.

    5. The thing that’s most encouraging from testing so far is that the only team that looks out of place is the Williams, & sadly that’s to be expected considering their pace last year & what time they finally showed up to testing this year. Everyone else has looked decent. Of course the Ferrari looks the best, the Red Bull seems there/thereabouts & Mercedes has finally turned things up a bit proving they’re lurking as well (like most of us suspected). Renault, Alfa & Toro Rosso don’t appear to be all that far behind either. I fully expect Racing Point & Haas to have a solid start as they normally do, & McLaren has also looked decent (but they did last year as well… not holding my breath, but at least they look good so far). Now all we need is for things to remain close come Melbourne, & hopefully the new aero does lead to better racing. I’m allowing myself to be quietly excited.

    6. I dont understand that despite the regulation changes the cars seem to be faster, is the larger DRS boosting them on the straight? or have pirelli finally given us durable and quick tyres?

      1. @emu55 Possibly. Both of what you suggest could be contributing factors although the tarmac has improved since last May’s race weekend as well, so potentially a combination of all three.

    7. Less than a tenth off last season’s pole time anymore. Even after these aero changes the cars are still crazy fast (at least around Circuit de Catalunya.)

    Comments are closed.