The Mercedes AMG Petronas team ended testing in sparkling form as new recruit Valtteri Bottas rounded out the day with fastest time and over 143 laps on the board...
Meanwhile at the other end of the competitive spectrum McLaren found some much needed pace and reliability, with Belgian talent Stoffel Vandoorne finally giving the struggling giants something to cheer about with over 80 laps of running, resulting in fourth position on the timesheets just over eight tenths of a second behind Bottas in the number 77 Mercedes.
Ferrari once again secured second on the timesheets during the first in season test of 2017, this time seeing team number 1 Sebastian Vettel completing 64 laps in a troubled session that saw the German four time World Champion only manage a meagre 8 laps of running in the morning, before the team managed to regroup after lunch and put together a solid day of learning ultimately producing a lap time just over 3 tenths shy of Bahrain Grand Prix pole winner Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes.
It was a good day of running for Formula One returnee Gary Paffett in the Williams Mercedes, returning to Formula One testing duties following a four year absence, the 36 year old Briton clocked over 120 laps and produced a commendable display of mature driving as he took the FW40 to eight in the final standings on a day when Williams main focus was to better understand the potential of the car following a troubled start to the new racing season.
"It’s been a while since I’ve done a full test in a Formula One car" Said Paffett. "it’s really good to be back in the car, really good. The cars this year with the increased downforce, and more grip in the tyres, are really nice to drive. We’ve had a really good day. We’ve done a lot of laps, which is really good, and we got all of our testing done. That’s the purpose really, to get all the testing done, and then for me to go back and validate the simulator. So overall it was really nice to drive the car and I’m very happy with how the day went.Other Formula One rookies Sergey Sirotkin of Renault and Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull ended up behind Paffett's Williams in the time sheets, having run 90 and 65 laps respectively on the way to 9th and 10th in the final standings.
- Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.280 - 143
- Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.574 - 64
- Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:31.884 - 68
- Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:32.108 - 81
- Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.120 - 88
- Esteban Ocon Force India 1:32.142 - 60
- Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:32.213 - 61
- Gary Paffett Williams 1:32.253 - 126
- Sergey Sirotkin Renault 1:32.287 - 90
- Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1:32.568 - 65
- Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:34.462 - 91
- Sergio Perez Force India 1:35.015 - 70
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Have Mercedes found the key to unlocking the performance of the 2017 car? Will Ferrari pick themselves up from a relatively poor two days testing? Have McLaren finally found performance? Let us know in the comments section below!