Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Vettel on top, Hamilton last as power unit problem halts Mercedes

2020 F1 season

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Ferrari and Mercedes had contrasting fortunes on the fifth day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Sebastian Vettel ended the day on top after cutting more than a second off the team’s previous best time in the test. But Mercedes’ running was cut short by the latest in a series of power unit problems for the team.

Vettel set a 1’16.841 shortly before the lunch break which still stood as the fastest time at the end of the day. He also covered more than two race distances at the wheel of the SF1000, despite spinning off at turn five in the morning.

Lewis Hamilton did just 14 laps after taking over from team mate Valtteri Bottas at midday. He was delayed leaving the Mercedes garage after lunch, then came to a stop at turn six.

The team later confirmed they “experienced an oil pressure anomaly which made the engine shut down as a precautionary measure” and were “further investigating the issue.” Hamilton’s car did not reappear.

The top five drivers all set the quickest times for their teams in the test so far. Pierre Gasly moved AlphaTauri up to second place in the afternoon ahead of Lance Stroll’s Racing Point.

Williams had borne the brunt of Mercedes’ power unit problems until today, but Nicholas Latifi enjoyed a trouble-free day on his way to the fourth-fastest time. He covered 160 laps, one of the highest totals for a driver on a single day throughout the test.

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Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
15Sebastian VettelFerrariSF10001’16.841145C5
210Pierre GaslyAlphaTauriAT011’17.0660.225139C5
318Lance StrollRacing PointRP201’17.1180.277130C3
46Nicholas LatifiWilliamsFW431’17.3130.472160C5
54Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL351’17.5730.732113C3
633Max VerstappenRed BullRB161’17.7380.89731C2
777Valtteri BottasMercedesW111’17.9851.14447C3
831Esteban OconRenaultRS201’18.0131.17237C4
920Kevin MagnussenHaasVF-201’18.2251.384111C3
1023Alexander AlbonRed BullRB161’18.3931.55261C2
113Daniel RicciardoRenaultRS201’18.3951.55459C3
1299Antonio GiovinazziAlfa RomeoC391’19.6702.82992C3
1344Lewis HamiltonMercedesW111’22.4255.58414C3

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2020 F1 season

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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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12 comments on “Vettel on top, Hamilton last as power unit problem halts Mercedes”

  1. Can the table be updated to include the tires those fastest times were run on?

  2. I can’t understand why mercedes did not change the PU? Early in the morning Bottas was smoking at least once, in the end of the morning Bottas reportedly notified the team that the car was not running well. Merc had about 1h30 before the beginning of the afternoon to rectify the problem. 14 laps afterwards Ham stops with a problem….

    1. Sometimes you don’t know where the line is until you cross it.

      1. Exactly. You’ve got to laugh at these armchair team principles who are on the outside and think they know what is going on inside. :)

          1. Was gonna say… this is F1. There are no principles. ;)

    2. Mercedes: OK, we’ve tested everything. Twice, at least, now what?


      I know! Let’s see how we break it…

      1. @psynrg

        LoL – That would be the most logical explanation

        German engineering at it’s finest

  3. Its not looking good for Renault is it.

    I’ve been loosely following their testing progress, their times can be best described as middling.

    As long as Cyril in charge, I can’t see the team progressing. The man is living in an alternate reality. Just like everyone in F1, he is ambitious. Signing Danny Ric was a coup, but that was like a bit like putting the horse before the cart. Although Renault have made significant investment in Team Enstone, lets not forget the team was in dire straits before they took over. All the investment they made, probably brought the team back to a respectable level. Their performance on track was credit to their engineering and track side operations teams, and having Hulk chip away at every opportunity helped…but to think that they’ll finish on the podium let alone challenge for it this season, seems far fetched.

    Cyril is starting to sound a bit like Eric Boullier during the latter days of his time at Mclaren…delirious

    1. Mais oui … délirant.
      I think that both he and Eric B. are French, no.?

  4. Bottas’s time from last week is still unbeaten and he did it on tyres a step harder than what Vettel did.

  5. Feels like this is the only time this season we’re going to read Vettel on top and Hamilton last.

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