Sebastian Vettel topped the penultimate day of pre-season testing as Ferrari asserted its status as one of the favourites for the 2017 season.
On a set of ultrasoft compound, Vettel clocked a time of 1:19.024s, which was nearly three tenths quicker than Valtteri Bottas’ benchmark from yesterday, albeit on the supersoft tyre.
Vettel also appeared to have more time in hand, with the German evidently lifting in the final sector to disguise his pace.
.The Ferrari driver also led the mileage count, racking up 156 laps over the course of the day.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was second fastest with a time of 1:19.352, three tenths down on Vettel’s best time.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon logged 138 laps, with his best effort of 1:20.161 good enough for third place.
Daniil Kvyat was next up in the Toro Rosso, but the Russian’s outing wasn’t free of technical gremlins as he stopped at Turn 5 during the final two hours of the day.
Meanwhile, Haas enjoyed another productive outing in Barcelona with Kevin Magnussen finishing fifth after completing 119 laps, and ending three tenths clear of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
McLaren-Honda’s troubles, however, continued with Stoffel Vandoorne stopping twice on track in the morning session and unable to get any significant mileage after the lunch break.
The Belgian, who makes his full-time F1 debut after a successful season in Super Formula, ended the day seventh with just 48 laps on board.
He was followed by Mercedes’ Bottas who took over the reigns of the W08 from Hamilton at half time, as the Silver Arrows continued the practice of splitting running between the drivers on each day.
Sauber, too, shared driving duties with Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson finishing ninth and 11th respectively, the duo completing 132 laps between them.
Renault was another outfit to have a troubled day, with an engine change restricting Jolyon Palmer to 53 laps and tenth place in the timesheets.
The Williams driver propped up the bottom of the timesheets, with Felipe Massa and rookie Lance Stroll focusing on long runs.
1. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:19.024 - 156 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:19.352 - 52 laps
3. Esteban Ocon - Force India - 1:20.161 - 137 laps
4. Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso - 1:20.416 - 94 laps
5. Kevin Magnussen - Haas - 1:20.504 - 119 laps
6. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:20.824 - 128 laps
7. Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren - 1:21.348 - 48 laps
8. Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1:21.819 - 95 laps
9. Pascal Wehrlein - Sauber - 1:22.347 - 44 laps
10. Jolyon Palmer - Renault - 1:22.418 - 53 laps
11. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:23.330 - 88 laps
12. Felipe Massa - Williams - 1:24.443 - 80 laps
13. Lance Stroll - Williams - 1:24.863 - 85 laps
by Rachit Thukral