F1 Pre-Season Testing 2020: Friday Times and Analysis from Barcelona

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2020

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 27: Valtteri Bottas driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 on track during Day Two of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 27, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas pipped Red Bull's Max Verstappen to top spot on the final day of testing for the 2020 Formula One season on Friday at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona.

The Finn posted a time of one minute, 16.196 seconds to top the timesheets by 0.073 seconds from Verstappen, while Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was third.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc ended the day in fourth place. Defending champion Lewis Hamilton came in fifth, finishing 0.214 seconds off top spot.

Here's a look at the classification at the end of Friday's action:

                

Morning Session Recap

Ricciardo set the pace in Friday's morning session with a time of 1:16.276 to finish ahead of Leclerc and Hamilton.

Here are the times from the session:

The track was busy early on as all 10 drivers were quick to exit their garages, and Carlos Sainz raised a few eyebrows when he set a 1:17.508 in his McLaren on hard tyres, a time he quickly set about improving on.

He improved further still after swapping to medium tyres.

Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to encounter some difficulties when his Alfa Romeo went for a spin:

Alexander Albon found himself in the gravel later on after a similar incident:

Sergio Perez eventually replaced Sainz atop the timesheets in his Racing Point before Leclerc went top with an hour remaining.

Ricciardo beat his time around 20 minutes later.

    

Afternoon Session Recap

The afternoon session saw a number of drivers putting in the laps on the final testing day before the season gets underway in Melbourne, Australia, on March 15. Leclerc, Perez, Sainz, George Russell, Daniil Kvyat and Raikkonen all passed 100 laps on a cooling track in Barcelona.

Bottas continued his strong pace in testing by again posting the fastest lap of the day and beating Ricciardo's best time of the morning session by just 0.05 seconds. The Mercedes driver then improved on his time again to cement top spot.

Verstappen also managed to move ahead of the Renault driver in the afternoon session but could not do quite enough to beat Bottas:

Renault's Esteban Ocon managed to put together a lap that saw him end the day in sixth and post a time just 0.02 seconds behind world champion Hamilton.

Yet it was a tough afternoon for Haas. Kevin Magnusson spent most of the afternoon in the garage with a clutch issue and could only complete 29 laps.

An incident-free session ended with Red Bull's Albon at the bottom of the timesheets, while defending champions Mercedes look in good shape to defend their title ahead of the start of the new season.

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