Scuderia Ferrari continued to set the pace in the morning session of the second day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya, as Charles Leclerc‘s leading time was the second-fastest of testing so far, just 0.086s short of teammate Sebastian Vettel’s best time from yesterday. Charles Leclerc, who impressed during his rookie campaign with Sauber last year, set a time of 1:18.247 to finish comfortably clear of his rivals in predominantly overcast conditions.
The Monegasque driver also completed over a race distance worth of mileage, continuing Scuderia Ferrari’s eye-catching start to testing, following Sebastian Vettel’s exploits on Monday.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was the only driver to finish within a second of Leclerc, clocking a time 0.987s down on the Monegasque during the closing stages. Full-time Alfa Romeo rookie Antonio Giovinazzi received his first taste of the team’s C38 and finished third, with McLaren young gun Lando Norris fourth. Pierre Gasly stepped into the Honda-powered Red Bull RB15 for the first time and finished fifth. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo escaped unharmed after a scary moment in which part of his rear wing detached along the main straight.
Daniel Ricciardo was pitched into a spin but was able to recover his R.S.19 to the pit lane, with the team still assessing the cause of the problem. Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton was the most productive driver as Mercedes once again shirked setting quick lap times, with the Briton finishing seventh, 1.6s behind pacesetter Leclerc. Alexander Albon had a shaky start to life as a full-time Formula 1 driver, causing a red flag just minutes into the session when he spun into the gravel entering Turn 5.
Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost exonerated Albon of blame, pointing to a tweaked steering approach that did not work, while the Anglo-Thai was soon able to return to action. Racing Point’s Lance Stroll finished at the rear of the nine-strong field as he got his first experience aboard the RP19. Williams was once again absent, due to delays in readying its FW42, and has not yet communicated whether its car will be prepared in time for Wednesday’s action.
Tuesday’s afternoon session will begin at 14:00 local time.