Vettel stays quickest as Hamilton hits trouble

Sebastian Vettel remained quickest for Ferrari at the end of the penultimate day of 2020 pre-season Formula 1 testing, while Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton suffered a reliability setback on Thursday afternoon.

Vettel stays quickest as Hamilton hits trouble

Vettel's 1m16.841s on C5s from the morning went unbeaten during the four-hour second session, although AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly put in a lap on the same rubber just 0.225s adrift of the top spot with under 15 minutes of the day remaining.

Lance Stroll's C3-shod 1m17.118s from morning ended up as the third quickest time of the day overall for Racing Point.

Hamilton had taken over at the wheel of Mercedes' W11 from his teammate Valtteri Bottas – whose morning effort of 1m17.985s put him seventh overall on the day – but the six-time world champion did not appear during the first hour of the afternoon.

When Hamilton did take to the track, he immediately began a long-run stint on the yellow-walled C3 rubber – for a long while lapping just in front of Vettel, who was also conducting a long-run assessment.

But Hamilton's effort came to an end after 12 laps when his engine appeared to shut down suddenly as he exited the downhill Turn 5 left-hander and he coasted up to the approach to Turn 7 before pulling over.

This caused the afternoon's only red flag, and Hamilton did not reappear again after that as Mercedes revealed the issue had been caused by an oil pressure anomaly that led to the engine shutting down as a precaution.

Hamilton finished the day on 14 laps, with the 13th and slowest time – a 1m22.425s set on the C3s.

Vettel completed his long run efforts after the red flag, as he added a further 96 laps to the 49 he logged during the morning.

Gasly ended the day with 134 laps completed in second place, while Nicholas Latifi finished on 160 and fourth overall in the times behind Stroll.

Lando Norris was shuffled down from fourth in the morning to fifth in the afternoon, finishing ahead of the morning-only runners Max Verstappen, Bottas and Esteban Ocon.

Kevin Magnussen finished ninth with 111 laps completed aboard his Haas, while Alex Albon climbed into the Red Bull for the afternoon and ended up 10th, with 61 laps logged.

Albon's 1m18.393s on the C2 tyres was 1.552s adrift of Vettel's day-best time.

Daniel Ricciardo took over from Ocon in the Renault for the afternoon, but he also did not trouble the top of the times and wound up 11th quickest – with a best time of 1m18.395s coming on the C3s.

Antonio Giovinazzi finished the day in 12th place overall, but his 1m19.670s from the morning running – which had placed him ninth in that session – remained his best lap for Alfa Romeo.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m16.841s   145 
2 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1m17.066s +0.225 139
3 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1m17.118s +0.277 130
4 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1m17.313s +0.472 160
5 Lando Norris McLaren 1m17.573s +0.732 113
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m17.738s +0.897 31
7 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m17.985s +1.144 47
8 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m18.013s +1.172 37
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1m18.225s +1.384 111
10 Alex Albon Red Bull 1m18.393s +1.552 61
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m18.395s +1.554 59
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1m19.670s +2.829 92
13 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.425s +5.584 14
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Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing II
Author Alex Kalinauckas
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