F1 testing: Mercedes wraps up week one of Formula 1 testing on top


Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton headed up the times on day three of winter testing.


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After causing quite the stir in the paddock on Thursday, Mercedes ended the first week of pre-season testing the way it started, with a one-two on the timesheets.

Valtteri Bottas recorded a 1min 15.732sec lap, which was comfortably the fastest of 2020 testing so far, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton slotted into second just under a second behind. Both were on the softer compounds of tyres, C4 and C5 respectively.

Elsewhere, Alfa Romeo and Antonio Giovinazzi will be pleased with how they ended the first week of testing, racking up an impressive 152 laps, the most of anybody.

Sebastian Vettel suffered an early setback with an engine issue and Ferrari will need to investigate the exact cause back at Maranello. It limited his track time in a less than stellar week for the Scuderia.

Haas managed just 52 laps on Friday, with Kevin Magnussen doing just four before he suffered a puncture at Turn Seven and spun off into the barriers, ending the American team’s day.


Mercedes’ ‘DAS’ steering system banned from 2021…

…but will end week one the happiest of all the teams in the paddock.

The Silver Arrows achieved a staggering 494 laps in week one of testing, as well as recording the fastest time so far.

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Finally, on day two of preseason testing there was genuine excitement as eagle-eyed observers noticed something unusual about Lewis Hamilton’s steering inputs to the W11. In addition to turning the…

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The team’s new innovative Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system it has developed will be banned from the 2021 Formula 1 season onwards though, with FIA technical regulations closing off the loophole the system has exploited.

A brand-new system designed to alter the toe of the front wheels on the W11 was revealed on day two of winter testing, and many questioned its legality. The reigning champions however feel confident that the development is fully compliant with current regulations and the FIA have no concerns over the safety of the mechanism.


Ferrari admits it is slower than rivals

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel came to a halt early on the final day of week one

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Mattia Binotto explained on day three of testing that his team was not in the place it expected to be.

Sebastian Vettel missed out on a large chunk of running in the morning session after coming to a halt with an unspecified engine issue. An engine change allowed the team to complete 100 laps, with only Haas and Williams — both with their own stoppages — completing fewer miles.

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“Simply looking at the delta pace and eventually what we may assess in terms of fuel load – which you never know in terms of engine modes, et cetera – looking at the picture relative to ourselves, I think we are not as fast as they are,” Binotto explained.

“I’m not as optimistic as last year. The others are faster than us at the moment I believe.

“How much faster I think it’s really difficult to judge.

“We will go through all the data in the next days. But I don’t think we are as fast as them at the moment.”

Binotto also admitted that Ferrari would create a similar DAS-system but only once it had fully understood the concept.

On the back of that, the team boss also added that it would be until at least mid-2020 before Ferrari could implement it on the SF1000.

Classification Driver Team Time Laps
1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m 15.732sec 65
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1min 16.516sec 73
3. Esteban Ocon Renault 1min 17.102sec 76
4. Lance Stroll Racing Point 1min 17.338sec 116
5. Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 1min 17.427sec 62
6. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1min 17.469sec 152
7. Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1min 17.574sec 93
8. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1min 17.636sec 86
9. Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1min 17.783sec 59
10. Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing 1min 18.154sec 83
11. Carlos Sainz McLaren 1min 18.274sec 76
12. Romain Grosjean Haas 1min 18.380sec 48
13. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1min 18.384sec 100
14. Lando Norris McLaren 1min 18.454sec 49
15. Nicholas Latifi Williams 1min 19.004sec 72
16. Kevin Magnussen Haas 1min 19.709sec 4