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Formula One: The Time for Pre-season Testing at Circuit de Barcelona- Catalunya 

The final day of the pre-season testing at Circuit de Barcelona- Catalunya revealed valuable insights for the teams: With about 4 days left for them to tie the loose ends. Will the revving engines of the Mercedes roar again? 

Abhinav Raj
Last updated: 22.02.2020
Pre-season Testing at Circuit de Barcelona | Sports Social Blog

The third day of Formula One pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya came as a silver lining for Mercedes as drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton managed to top the timesheets.

In Bottas’ smooth Friday session run the driver managed to finish at the top of the pile with the record of the best lap of one minute and 15.732 seconds. British driver Lewis Hamilton came a close second with the best lap of one minute and 16.516 seconds.

However, not everyone managed to hit the showers with contentment, including Haas as they had to hit the brakes to their testing programme early after Kevin Magnussen’s a puncture on the circuit.

Renault’s Esteban Ocon came third and was recorded about 1.37 seconds slower, while Racing Point’s Lance Stroll finished fourth.

The 27-year-old Danish driver was attempting to negotiate the 7/8 section on what was his fourth lap of the day as his car lost rear traction and spun off onto the track, luckily making a very subtle impact on the outer wall. This meant a loss of valuable track time for Haas.

So far, the diagnostics revealed that the premature end to the testing was a consequence of an issue with the wheel spacer that caused damage to the right rear rim, the Haas F1 team confirmed.

“An issue with the wheel spacer damaging the rim was ultimately found to be the cause of the sudden tyre deflation," reported the Haas team after the conduction of an investigation.

“The first two days of testing were very good for us with no issues and a lot of data, we got a lot of things done," stated Guenther Steiner, the team principal.

"Today was a little bit more troublesome, these things can happen though," he continued. "We had a damaged rim due to a problem with the wheel spacer, which ultimately caused the puncture for Kevin.”

"Unfortunately, the car was too damaged to make it worthwhile to try and get it back out. We could have possibly returned for half an hour but there’s no point."

Italian manufacturer Ferrari’s headline times were mildly disappointed with the close of the test session, with driver Sebastian Vettel 2.7s adrift. However, this may not spell trouble for them as the data suggests the power unit was running at much lower levels all the week, suggestive of the fact that they were carrying out a different programme than usual.

The teams are now left with four days until the commencement of the second test to analyse the data they spent the last 3 days gathering.

2020 Pre-Season Testing: Day 3 Highlights

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