Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Ricciardo pips Leclerc as times tumble on morning of final test day

2020 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo headed the morning of the final day of pre-season testing, setting Renault’s best time of the test so far.

A lap of 1’16.276 put Ricciardo less than a tenth of a second ahead of Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari driver also improved his team’s quickest time of the test.

Seven of the drivers in the top eight times improved their team’s benchmark times so far. The exception was Lewis Hamilton, third, who was the morning’s busiest driver. Back on track following his power unit problem yesterday, Hamilton completed 89 laps with no apparent problems apart from a few puffs of smoke from the back of his car early in the day.

Sergio Perez continued to show good pace in the Racing Point, while Carlos Sainz Jnr posted a considerable improvement for McLaren in fifth place.

Williams has recorded the biggest year-on-year improvement in testing times so far. George Russell’s lap of 1’16.871, which put him sixth overall, was over 1.2 seconds faster than the team managed last year.

Kimi Raikkonen ended the morning ninth for Alfa Romeo following a spin at the exit of the chicane. Alexander Albon also spun off in his Red Bull at turn 11, but managed to pick his way out of a gravel trap and return to the pits.

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Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
13Daniel RicciardoRenaultRS201’16.27665C5
216Charles LeclercFerrariSF10001’16.3600.08476C5
344Lewis HamiltonMercedesW111’16.4100.13490C5
411Sergio PerezRacing PointRP201’16.6580.38243C3
555Carlos Sainz JnrMcLarenMCL351’16.8200.54465C4
663George RussellWilliamsFW431’16.8710.59543C5
726Daniil KvyatAlphaTauriAT011’16.9140.63859C4
88Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-201’17.0370.76186C4
97Kimi RaikkonenAlfa RomeoC391’17.4151.13962C5
1023Alexander AlbonRed BullRB161’17.8031.52759C3

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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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9 comments on “Ricciardo pips Leclerc as times tumble on morning of final test day”

  1. Interesting time from RIC looking at qualifying times last year maybe Renault has improved.. I hope so!!

  2. Obviously Ferrari and Mercedes didn’t show their hand (their top speeds were about 20 kph down on the fastest, just like Vettel was yesterday). They were slow in the first sector, but traded fastest times in sectors 2 and 3.

    Racing Point looked also quite strong again. Perez’ 1:16.6 on a C3 is very good.
    But I don’t think they’re clearly ahead of the midfield pack, like many suggest. Grosjean’s race sim before the lunchbreak looked very impressive, quite a lot faster than Stroll’s yesterday. Haas are definitely in the mix at the top of the midfield together with RP, Renault and McLaren and given their performances in Australia so far, they might be even leading the midfield there.

  3. After nearly 6 days of testing, looks like all teams have improved in pace, with Ferrari the least improved, and Williams much improved, but they had to, they are playing catch-up.

    1. The most improved is definately Tracing Point. That time from Perez, less than 4 tenths from RIC, was done on the C3 tyres while everybody else above him used the C5. The commentators estimated that softest compound should be around 1 sec faster than C3.

  4. Now it’s all game & fun and something to talk about. We ve to wait for Melbourne grid line and tanks fullfilled, ok guys?

    1. @formevic Not just yet as there’s still running-time left in this test.

  5. I think the most significant lap time of testing was Hamilton’s 1.16.976 on the C2 tyre at the beginning of a 14 lap stint. Comparable to today’s times, on a harder tyre, whilst definitely carrying a significant fuel load.

    The track is a bit slower this week though so that has to be factored in too.

  6. In the end it’s the same every year. Some teams might do a low fuel runs to show their pace is better than year before compared to other teams and some only show their true cards in Melbourne at Q3.

  7. So that’s it for testing.
    Time for some Netflix!

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