The Formula 1® preseason is offering dramatic turns, day in and day out. Wednesday was not free of strong emotions either, with Carlos Sainz and Sebastian Vettel sharing the focus of attention. The Spanish McLaren driver clocked the fastest time of the winter preseason so far (1:17.144) and the German driver went spectacularly off the track with his Ferrari, with no physical consequences.
The activity at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been frenetic from early in the morning. The teams were eager to make the best of the session, especially Mercedes and Ferrari, dedicating a lot of time to solve technical problems inside their pit garages.
This time, the team led by Toto Wolff managed to ‘remove the thorn’ and saw their drivers being the most active on the asphalt, with Valtteri Bottas in the morning and Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon, making 74 and 102 laps each, although both with times that were almost two seconds behind the lead.
Things went much worse for Ferrari, as they experienced a second black day in a row. Yesterday, they had to spend almost the whole morning in the garage to solve failures in the cooling system of their car, and today, they only managed to do 40 laps in the morning with Sebastian Vettel, while Charles Leclerc could only make one testimonial lap in the afternoon. The reason was that the German driver went off track, damaging the SF90, shortly after 11 o’clock in the morning.
Vettel, who went to the medical centre for a check, explained what happened: “I was entering turn three and went straight against the wall. From the sensation I had inside the car, there was a problem with the front left suspension. There was nothing I could do to avoid the crash, because it did not depend on me. Now we are working to understand what happened, so that it won’t happen again.”
Despite everything, the German driver was happy with the new car. “We are testing and exploring many things since the first day. Yesterday we lost time in the morning, but recovered a bit in the afternoon. My feelings in general are positive”, he summarised, after clocking the third fastest time of the day (1:18.195).
Quickest today was Carlos Sainz. McLaren led the time sheets again, for the second day in a row, and they also took over the lead of the overall ranking of the preseason with a spectacular 1:17.144. The Spanish driver clocked this time during the second hour of the session, on Pirelli’s C4 super soft tyres. In addition to the Madrid-born driver, the only driver able to lap below 1:18 was Mexican driver Sergio Pérez (Racing point), with a time of 1:17.842 on the same compound.
Tomorrow, Carlos Sainz will be protagonist as well, although this time off the track, as he will be taking part, for the fourth consecutive year, in a charity tour at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. A reduced group of people will have the chance to meet the Spanish driver, take pictures with him and ask him for autographs. The aim of this initiative is to raise funds for Juegaterapia, a foundation that works in order to improve the lives of children with cancer.
The F1® Test Days will be staging their penultimate day at the Circuit, with track activity from 9 to 13 h. and from 14 a 18 h., although the box office will open at 8.30 h. Fans will be able to access the facilities through gate 3 and follow the action from the main grandstand and grandstands F and G. The access is free for all holders of a ticket for the FORMULA 1 EMIRATES GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2019, as well as for Circuit Members and Officials. There are also other very attractive ticket modalities that include from guided tours to paddock access.