Valtteri Bottas edges Ferrari’s Giovinazzi, British rookies get out in Barcelona F1 Test
Posted By: Editor   |  16 May 2018   |  6:03 pm GMT  |  35 comments

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas edged out Ferrari’s Antonio Giovinazzi for top spot in the second-and-final day of the Barcelona in-season test, posting the fastest time of the test.

The test also saw some promising British drivers getting an outing; Lando Norris, Jack Dennis and Jack Aitken. Robert Kubica again accumulated mileage in the underperforming Williams.

The Mercedes team ran with a concept rear light system in yesterday’s test day, but reverted back to a conventional system as part of today’s schedule.

The Spanish Grand Prix runner-up went fastest in the morning session with a supersoft tyre lap of 1:16.904, edging Giovinazzi’s hypersoft effort by just 0.068 of a second.

The Italian was the busiest man of the day, completing a hefty 148 laps of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

In an eventful day for McLaren, Lando Norris – who was doing a full McLaren test as opposed to his Pirelli test yesterday – stole third place from Kevin Magnussen with his final lap of the day, setting a 1:18.039 on the supersoft tyre.

The young Briton had a spin at turn twelve during the morning session, whilst his MCL33 had a technical issue and caused him to stop on track, bringing out the red flags.

“It was into Turn 12, it’s the one corner that has been quite tricky because of the wind,” explained Norris.

“It was more of a mistake on my part, I pushed the entry a bit too much and lost the rear.”

Magnussen was the fourth-fastest driver of the day with a 1:18.274 on the hypersoft tyre, but his afternoon’s running was shortened after causing a red flag.

The team spotted an issue with the car, so decided to end their test day early, completing 76 laps.

Nikita Mazepin made a series of improvements towards the end of the day and set the fifth-fastest time in the Force India, clocking a time just 0.07 of a second slower than Magnussen.

Jack Aitkin was handed his first test outing for the Renault team. His morning effort on the ultrasoft tyres ended up just over two seconds off the pace and good enough for P6, just ahead of Sauber’s Charles Leclerc.

Following his outing in free practice one for the Spanish Grand Prix, Robert Kubica returned to the FW41 for a full day of testing. He was another driver to have set his best lap time in the morning session.

Pierre Gasly was given half-a-day in the Toro Rosso and, after a delayed start, clocked up 39 laps en route to ninth overall in the standings.

Stoffel Vandoorne was at the wheel of the McLaren which was allocated to Pirelli testing. He finished in tenth place ahead of Jake Dennis who, after completing extensive simulator work for Red Bull, was given the opportunity to sample the RB14 in Barcelona.

Sean Gelael was given another opportunity to impress in the Toro Rosso. The Indonesian driver’s first day in the car was shortened due to a chassis issue with the STR13, but he managed a problem-free half-day in the car today, registering a best lap time of 1:20.763 and completing 77 laps for twelfth place.

After spending yesterday testing for Force India, Nicholas Latifi was given a day completing tests for Pirelli in the second Force India car.

1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m16.904 139 laps
2 Antonio Giovinazzi Ferrari 1m16.972 148 laps
3 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m18.039 80 laps
4 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m18.274 75 laps
5 Nikita Mazepin Force India/Mercedes 1m18.334 112 laps
6 Jack Aitkin Renault 1m18.942 120 laps
7 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m18.993 139 laps
8 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m19.253 123 laps
9 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m19.410 39 laps
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m19.914 96 laps
11 Jake Dennis Red Bull/Renault 1m20.440 75 laps
12 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso/Honda 1m20.763 83 laps
13 Nicholas Latifi Force India/Mercedes 1m21.412 121 laps

All Images: Motorsport Images

Who do you think stood out in testing? Leave your comments below.

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If I was Vandoorne i’d be worried about a job next year

Garrett Bruce

Bottas seems to have stepped up his game, given efforts so far this early part of the season. Could it be a sign of things to come ?


Tbh I don’t even know why the testing is being done in this format. What goals the teams hope to achieve. Think for the newbies it’s exciting and a good experience. Beyond that?, no idea.

James Neutron

Does anyone know if the Mercs did any running on the hypersofts over the two days?

Tornillo Amarillo

Kubica does not impress me in P8 and being slower than Leclerc, but Giovinazzi and Norris does.


Yea nothing to see here folks, move along.


Testing sucks. And due to the ridiculous testing rules we see less and less of the top drivers. I don’t want to watch a unknown driver that might some day make it to the big time. Let them open up testing again and then the newbies can test away from the spotlight.


F1canmaker, take the cans off your eyes.

Watching unknowns can become a pleasant pass time.

In 1993, I watched a young unknown from Queanbeyan race a 2 year old Formula Ford from16th on the first lap, to 4th at the flag.

I thought I’d keep an eye on this bloke.

You may have heard of him, his name is Mark Webber.

It seems to me that you only want to know once people are already in the big time, & that’s a shame.

I’m guessing you don’t even know the young chap that designed the 1988 March 881.

I’ll help you. Adrian Newey.

How about the 16 year old German belting about in a BMW, Sebastian Vettel.

My point is, open your eyes, & watch the youngsters. It’s truly worth the effort.


I think F1canmaker means that without a ban on testing, we may not have a limitation as in these days. Both experienced and rookies could test, and rookies would get way more testing chances, surely more than twice a year as it happens now. I really hope they remove the ban on testing.


Lando Norris.. Seemed notably faster than Alonso in the WEC race and now this, you wonder just how long it will take for him to “do a Hamilton” and start beating the Spaniard in his Rookie season..


Don’t hold your breath.

Hamilton didn’t beat ALO, they tied in points and wins.

But if it makes you feel better, keep telling yourself that:)


Hamilton finished 2nd in the table, and Alonso 3rd, on countback. Ergo Hamilton beat Alonso. That is how it works. If Hamilton didn’t get past Glock at Brazil 2008, then Massa and Hamilton would have tied on points, but Massa would have been champion on countback.

If it makes you feel better to say they tied in 2007, rather than face the reality of what happened, then keep on doing that. 🙂


Why are we still arguing this?

Lewis beat alonso on his debut, go and look at the record books. As you well know, he beat him with more second places. But why would you, or anybody else still be denying this a decade later!

Do alonso’s fans also suffer his own insecurities?

Probably best you don’t read about Lando’s drive in the WEC then…


Kubica is at least 3 tenths faster than the fastest williams race driver (FP1, and test today). They truly deserve to be where they are right now. I have no sympathy for this team.


Can anyone tell me if Kubica was allowed to actually work on the setup of the car at last ?


On hypersoft tires, while testing and just 3 tenths more than “the worst drivers on the grid” ‘s time. I’m far from being impressed.


FP1, second faster than lord stroll!


According to Pady Lowe Kubica has to earn his seat at Williams. So while Stroll and Sirotikin have bought their seats, a driver who spent years racing wheel to wheel with the likes of Alonso, Button, Vettel and Hamilton in mediocre cars is earning his.


While Stroll and Sirotkin are truly not F1 material Kubica needs to prove his physical ability to drive with his limitations. A very different thing to his past talent and experience.

I want to see him back racing, but the onboard shots show he’s barely using his right hand for steering. He’s getting enough running to hopefully prove he can return. Looks like there’s going to be a glut of young talent coming in too, so it’s going to be very hard.


Kubica says he’s in better shape now physically than he was before the accident. I belive him. In fact, if the guy has a flaw it is that he’s too honest.

Richard Mortimer

You can’t say Stroll and Sirotkin are not F1 material. Lance is in the top 10 on F1’s 3-race grading!

They are struggling with the car… but, then, anyone would. Let’s see if Paddy Lowe can pull it around? I would not bet against it….

Of course, we all want to see Robert back driving in F1 races, but, he is just as uncertain as the two youngsters. He seems to have the speed. But, does he have the stamina? His arm is not 100% and it’s a long time since he raced in F1.


His arm not being 100% will not make one iota of difference to his speed because of the way he drives. Even before the accident he drove without gripping the steering wheel very hard.

Obviously different drivers have different methods. Alesi for example used to grip the wheel almost at the 1 and 2 o’clock positions. How he used to be so fast driving like that I will never know because I’ve tried it myself and I can’t drive that way — at all.


The power rankings make no sense, they may as well be randomly generated.

Tornillo Amarillo

A study says the driver skill counted for 30% before and now only 10%.

Some drivers count for 25% for me like Alonso, Leclerc.

Some like minus 25%, like Grosjean…


Norris will be in the McLaren next year, full time. A natural talent.

I hope it wil be with Alonso, but I think Fernando will retire from F1 at the end of the year.

Richard Mortimer

Hmmm… interesting view-points there James!

I am disappointed with Vandoorne this year. Needs to up his game.

Would be surprised if Fernando quit F1 now. Not much point being with a team re-building, if you are going to ship-out early?



I hope Alonso doesn’t retire Richard. I would love to see Norris go up against Fernando, and I think Norris is more than capable of giving him a run for his money. I’ve been watching Norris the last 3 years on different platforms, and he impressed me. Fantastic driver.

But your right about Vandoorn….I just don’t know what to think about him as a driver🤔. He hasn’t shown any sign of the talent he was supposed to be. And obviously, coming into McLaren at the time he did, is not exactly the best start for a driver.


Norris continues to impress, as does Russell, both here and in F2; I think they’ll both be on the grid in 1-2 years. Hard to gauge Kubica, without a back to back on the same day.


Does anyone know what tyres Kubica set that 1m19.253 on? That’s half a second quicker than Sirotkin managed in qualifying, and a second quicker than Stroll….


To be fair, the track is a lot more rubbered in now – it’s hardly a coincidence that every time Kubica does a session with either of Williams’ “race” drivers he’s faster though.


GO Kubica !


Different conditions, but Kubica put together a lap that was faster than anything the two Williams boys did over the weekend.


What a surprise.

An experienced F1 pilot in the best F1 car gets the best results.


Hi James, I heard that at the Spanish GP there were rumblings from the drivers about not being happy with tyres, the sport, the new front wing rules, etc etc and this is also why Lewis is holding off signing a contract. Any insight into the drivers meetings and what they want with regards the rules and tyres etc?

Many thanks


hey had a grumble about the front wings, but if it makes it easier to pass then they’ll be happy

I’d wait and see

Don’t think that’s delaying Hamilton signature. Wider commercial considerations

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