The SF70H got down to an astonishing 1:19.024 in the Hands of Sebastian Vettel on the ultrasoft tyre. The new benchmark is 3 tenths quicker than Bottas’ already quick time set on wedensday and now down to an eight year low.
Hamilton came second 3 tenths down on the German, the only other driver to break the 1:20’s. Team mate Bottas then took over the afternoon running to complete 95 laps with the eighth fastest time.Force had a good day as well with new driver Ocon coming just 1.1 seconds behind Vettel putting him third with 137 laps in the bag.
Toro Rosso were definitely in need of some good running having completed the least number of laps over last week, only 183 compared to Mercedes’ 558. And although they had some technical problems early on, Russian Daniil Kvyat got the STR12 up to fourth with a much needed 94 laps completed.
He was just ahead of Magnussen in the Haas.
A much more consistent day for Red Bull who after Wednesday’s problems bagged 128 laps with Ricciardo finishing sixth overall.
After Fernando Alonso hashed the Honda power unit in the back of Mclaren’s car yesterday rookie Stoffel Vandoorne was back in the MCL32 and it seemed as though Alonso’s comments were justified. The Belgian completing very few laps just 48 due to two stoppages of the same electrical problem, the first of which happened just as he was leaving the pit lane and the second mid way along the circuit. And despite having achieved their fastest lap time of the winter (a relatively slow 1:21.348) it was only good enough for seventh.
It was another split day for Sauber with Ericsson completing 88 laps in the morning before Pascal Wehrlein added another 44 in the afternoon, they finished eleventh and ninth respectively.
The Renault R.S.17 was supposed to be driven by both Palmer and Hulkenberg today but the Brit ended up staying for the afternoon session. A late stoppage for Palmer saw him end the day in tenth with 53 laps on the board.
Williams had a quiet day to round out the time sheets, both drivers seemingly going for reliability and long runs rather than out right pace. Together the Massa/Stroll paring added 165 laps to the Grove teams tally for the week.
Final standings for test 2, day 3 are as follows