George Russell, Mercedes, Yas Marina

Russell keeps Mercedes on top as Leclerc crashes in final 2019 test

2019 F1 season

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The final day of running in the 2019 F1 season came to an end with a Mercedes on top, piloted by one of the team’s junior drivers.

As teams continued their evaluation of Pirelli’s new 2020 rubber and current tyres, George Russell used the 2020-specification C5 compound to set the day’s best time. This was eight-hundredths of a second slower than Valtteri Bottas managed using 2019 rubber yesterday.

As on Tuesday, Ferrari set the second-quickest time, Charles Leclerc having taken over from Sebastian Vettel in the SF90. Leclerc’s test ended early when he crashed at turn 14. According to Ferrari, Leclerc lost control on a kerb and hit a barrier, causing extensive damage to the car.

Racing Point set the third-quickest time of the test courtesy of Lance Stroll. He was followed by Pierre Gasly, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Esteban Ocon, the latter the only driver to do all of both days.

Pietro Fittipaldi, eighth-fastest behind Alexander Albon, had his first run for Haas since the in-season test at Circuit de Catalunya six months ago.

Conditions remains favourable and every team covered well over 100 laps of running, including Williams who shared their car between Roy Nissany and new 2020 race driver Nicholas Latifi. Nissany again ended the session at the bottom of the times, over three-and-a-half seconds slower than his team mate.

Pos. Car number Driver Team Model Best time Gap Laps Tyres
1 63 George Russell Mercedes W10 1’37.204 145 C5 2020
2 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1’37.401 0.197 103 C5 2019
3 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point RP19 1’37.999 0.795 132 C5 2020
4 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso STR14 1’38.166 0.962 146 C5 2020
5 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren MCL34 1’38.729 1.525 112 C5 2020
6 31 Esteban Ocon Renault RS19 1’38.950 1.746 128 C4 2019
7 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull RB15 1’39.181 1.977 139 C4 2019
8 51 Pietro Fittipaldi Haas VF-19 1’39.682 2.478 135 C5 2019
9 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo C38 1’39.811 2.607 115 C5 2020
10 40 Nicholas Latifi Williams FW42 1’40.188 2.984 107 C4 2020
11 41 Roy Nissany Williams FW42 1’43.892 6.688 38 C4 2020

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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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15 comments on “Russell keeps Mercedes on top as Leclerc crashes in final 2019 test”

  1. There’s something about a Nissany at the rear, far slower than anyone else, that feels familiar.

    1. Probably had his test paid for by Latifi.
      Like those stunning girls in the club with ugly girlfriends ;)

    2. Hopefully for Williams sake they don’t go the same way as Jordan and Minardi did after they gave a Nissany a go behind the wheel!

      On a more serious note – surely this was a complete waste of time for Williams? How can you get any meaningful data from a car being driven so far below it’s limit?

  2. Seems cruel to send him back into a Williams after giving him a taste of the Merc: “Here, taste this elixir. Now get back into the line. Not there, go behind the French dude in the yellow shirt.”

    1. LOL

      My thoughts exactly. Imagine the first laps back in the Williams

    2. He did testing for Mercs last year in Hungary and even then he was on par with Bottas and Lewis. He really needs a seat in top team to show his fill potential.

      1. Williams are a top team … it’s just they were uncharacteristically under-performing … rather consistently … until now.

  3. So… experienced race winner in own car and C4 2019s has nearly identical lap time to rookie in not-own car on C5 2020s.

    *Galifinakis calculating gif*

    1. What is the difference in tires? I know the C5 is at least a few 10th faster . Not sure if the 20’ tires are superior. I wouldn’t read too much into it. A young driver is probably trying to impress, an experienced driver is trying to test

    2. Not even sure what you try to imply there.
      As they taught in school: two equations with four variables cannot be solved (for all variables)

  4. The kerb at turn 14 has been nicknamed, Seb.

    1. Are we bashing Vettel even when Leclerc crashes?

      1. Yeah, that was Seb’s influence on Leclerc like in Baku.
        Let’s blame him again like we blame all around.

        Probably, that’s 4,88 kg extra fuel again at Ferrari made Leclerc so fast vs Vettel, who knows now how many he had all the season?)

  5. Cheerio VB. Welcome GR!

    1. Destian Light
      5th December 2019, 14:29

      GB slower on better rubber. You are not smart.

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