The first week of pre-season testing for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season came to a close on Thursday. And although Mother Nature again impacted the day – rain hit the circuit in the morning – the track was dry by the afternoon, allowing for all teams to take to the track.
The improved track conditions allowed for Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton to turn the fastest lap of the week at 1:19.333, just over half a second clear of McLaren F1 Team’s Stoffel Vandoorne, who was second on the leaderboard.
Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third quickest, followed by Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean and Vandoorne’s McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso.
Thursday also saw a considerable increase in the amount of laps some drivers turned in, possibly in response to Wednesday’s snow out in which only the aforementioned Alonso turned in a timed lap.
Both Vandoorne and Vettel completed over 100 laps – Vandoorne with 110 and Vettel with 120. However, the driver with the most laps to his name on Thursday was Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, who completed a staggering 147 laps around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, by far the most of anyone.
Conversely, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen completed the fewest laps – 35 – in a troublesome day that saw him spin into the gravel trap in Turn 12, causing a brief stoppage as his RB14 was removed.
Results from Thursday can be found here. Testing from the Catalunya circuit resumes on Monday.