F1 Testing, Day Two First Test: Charles Leclerc fastest for Ferrari
Deja vu at testing as Ferrari finish just ahead of McLaren; Mercedes go long again, Gasly crashes out; Albon and Ricciardo also spin
By Matt Morlidge and James Galloway at Barcelona
Last Updated: 20/02/19 8:51am
Ferrari continued their fast start to F1 2019 at pre-season testing as Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets on Day Two.
Leclerc, preparing for his first season as a Ferrari race driver, lapped within a tenth of a second of team-mate Sebastian Vettel's quickest effort from Monday, clocking a time of 1:18.247.
It was once again McLaren who pushed the Scuderia closest in Barcelona as British rookie Lando Norris finished just three tenths behind Leclerc with a late surge on the softer tyres late for testing's early surprise package.
Mercedes, meanwhile, continue to be conspicuous by their absence at the top of the testing timesheets.
The world champions spent another day concentrating on longer runs in Barcelona, with Valtteri Bottas sixth and Lewis Hamilton, almost two seconds off Leclerc, back in 10th.
Red Bull, who are publicly enthused by their new Honda partnership, didn't fare much better in terms of one-lap pace - and their day ended in spectacular fashion when Pierre Gasly span and crashed his RB15 into the trackside barriers.
"I was pushing and out of Turn 10 I went on the power, upshifted to fifth and lost the rear of the car," said Gasly. "It was quite annoying to lose the last hour of testing. Apart from that, we tested a lot of things and got a lot of good information, there is a good potential."
Ferrari go fast, and long - and where has McLaren's pace come from?
It was another impressive day for Ferrari, spearheaded by new recruit Leclerc.
The youngster continually got faster across a series of medium-length stints during Tuesday's morning session, with his best effort coming on the yellow-striped 'compound three' - the same as Vettel.
"The car looks balanced, it looks good to drive," said Sky F1's Karun Chandhok. "Dare I say it, it doesn't look to have a weakness."
He was a second clear of the field before Norris' late burst and also completed 157 laps, more than any other driver, though Mercedes topped the team charts with 163.
F1's two biggest teams - Mercedes and Ferrari - appear to be opting for different strategies to open the season.
Bottas, replacing Hamilton in the afternoon, set the Silver Arrows' best time of the test so far, a cautious 1:19.616
In contrast to Mercedes, there is a belief that McLaren have been posting their late efforts with lighter fuel loads. Norris followed Sainz's lead from a day before by leaping up to second place in the final minutes.
"We know there's a long road ahead," said team director Gil de Ferran.
Ferrari power also shone on Day Two with Kevin Magnussen third for Haas and Antonio Giovinazzi fifth in the new Alfa Romeo.
But there was also a boost for Honda engines. Gasly completed 92 laps before his shunt, while Alexander Albon comfortably passed a century and finished the day in fourth place.
That was despite blotting his copybook within four corners of his first full F1 test by spinning into the gravel.
"It's quite funny because I've had that experience before of spinning on the out lap and I was like 'ok, it's not the first time you've done this, so don't think about it'," joked Albon. "It reassured me that Kimi [Raikkonen] did it, but in that morning session after I span it was a bit like a dog with the tail between its legs! But it was ok in the end."
Renault's Daniel Ricciardo also had a spin, but his came at the bottom of the high-speed main straight when the DRS flap snapped off and sent him across the run-off area. The incident kept the Australian in the garage for much of the session thereafter.
F1 Testing: Day Two, Test One Timesheet
|Driver||Team||Total laps||Fastest lap tyre||Fastest lap|
|Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||157||Compound 3||1:18.247|
|Lando Norris||McLaren||104||Compound 4||1:18.553|
|Kevin Magnussen||Haas||59||Compound 3||1:19.206|
|Alex Albon||Toro Rosso||132||Compound 4||1:19.301|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||101||Compound 4||1:19.312|
|Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||74||Compound 3||1:19.535|
|Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||92||Compound 3||1:19.814|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||95||Compound 3||1:19.837|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||27||Compound 3||1:19.886|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||74||Compound 3||1:19.928|
|Lance Stroll||Racing Point||79||Compound 3||1:20.433|
|Pietro Fittipaldi||Haas||13||Compound 3||1:21.849|
*Compound 1 is the hardest tyre, Compound 5 is the softest
Karun Chandhok's view from trackside
"The Ferrari looks very good and stable in the change of direction and the rear end in particular seems planted.
"The Mercedes still seems better on the kerbs at T7 for example and their traction is still excellent. Lewis also seems the most comfortable to have just a tiny lift through the ultra-fast T9 despite carrying a decent fuel load.
"The Honda's gearshifts and engine note seem audibly much smoother than last year and I'm sure Gasly's on a decent fuel load as he's just pounding round and round with the car looking very consistent and balanced. That traditional strong front end in the medium/slow speed corners continues to be a characteristic and you can see how deep Gasly can go on the brakes into T1 and T4.
"Of the midfield cars, the Alfa continues to impress as a consistently balanced car and looks particularly good in the medium speed corners."
Day Two at Barcelona in quotes
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
"It's good that we're getting in a lot of mileage and we will try to increase that over the next days as we continue to discover the characteristics of this car. That's the exciting part about it - learning something new and being faced with different challenges. Everyone is working so diligently."
Gil de Ferran, McLaren
"We're all proud of the new car, as we should be, there was a lot of effort into delivering this car. But we're humble. We know there's a long road ahead."
Christian Horner, Red Bull
"We're doing lots of laps and learning about this new RB15, the new Honda engine and a new driver as well. I have to say first impressions [about the engine] are very, very positive."
Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
"Ferrari have come out strong - I feel like they have the last few seasons. Performance and reliability at the moment, they seem to be creating a statement. That's really the only team that's stood out for now."
Lando Norris, McLaren
"I think there's been quite a few areas that we've improved on but there's still things we need to continue to work on. We're not happy with everything. We just want to make sure by the end of this test that we're happy with the whole package."
Pierre Gasly, Red Bull
"So far it's been really good [with Honda]. Toro Rosso have also done a lot of laps. We need to use all the feedback, but so far we are really happy with the work they have done."
Alex Albon, Toro Rosso
"Getting in the car I felt quite comfortable, it was more the weeks before not knowing what the car was going to feel like which made me more nervous. I'd done a lot of work in the simulator, so even though I hadn't experienced the G-Force, I kind of knew what the car would do. It did feel quite comfortable."
Gil de Ferran, McLaren
"Fernando [Alonso] is part of the McLaren family. I think that in itself is a great plus to the team. I think he might be here next week."
Day Two at Barcelona in pictures
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