Wednesday saw Red Bull Racing back atop the time sheets during pre-season testing for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, with Daniel Ricciardo turning a quick lap of 1:18.047 in the morning to also set a track record, and Ricciardo’s time held up the rest of the day.
Mercedes AMG Petronas teammates Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were second and third, followed by Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in fourth and Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley in fifth.
McLaren F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest, but the team continued to fight mechanical gremlins after a problematic Tuesday. Alonso suffered an oil leak on Wednesday that ultimately forced McLaren to completely swap out the Renault power unit in the MCL33 and they did not return to the track until the final minutes of testing.
Results from Wednesday’s testing can be found here. Testing continues on Thursday.
Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.
The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.
“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”
In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.
VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.
A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.
NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.