Formula 1

Pre-Season Testing Day 3: Charles Leclerc Puts In Fastest Time

The conclusion of pre-season testing saw Charles Leclerc claim the fastest lap, hinting at Ferrari’s promising performance for the upcoming season.

Key Takeaways:

  • Leclerc topped the timesheets with a remarkable lap on the softer C4 tyres, hinting at Ferrari’s potential pace.
  • The day’s session experienced a brief pause due to a red flag caused by a dislodged drain cover at Turn 11, echoing the previous day’s interruption.
  • Ferrari maintained their momentum from Thursday’s successful run by Carlos Sainz, reinforcing their strong pre-season performance.

Charles Leclerc’s performance on the third and final day of pre-season testing was a highlight, as he steered his Ferrari to the front with the day’s best time of 1m30.322s on softer C4 compounds. This lap was marginally quicker than George Russell in the Mercedes, potentially setting up an exciting narrative for the forthcoming season.

It’s essential to remember, however, that pre-season lap times are not always a definitive gauge of the teams’ competitive order. With different teams experimenting with various setups and fuel loads, these times offer a glimpse into potential but not an absolute measure of performance. This variability adds an intriguing layer of strategy and anticipation leading up to the first race.

The day wasn’t without its challenges; a red flag interruption due to another loose drain cover at Turn 11 momentarily halted the proceedings, reminiscent of the previous day’s stoppage.

Carlos Sainz’s performance on Thursday had already set a positive tone for Ferrari, and despite the day’s brief halt, Leclerc’s subsequent success underscored Ferrari’s strong pre-season showing.

The final standings for the third day of testing are as follows:

  1. Leclerc, Ferrari, 1m30.322s, C4 – 74 laps
  2. Russell, Mercedes, 1m30.368s, C4 – 67 laps
  3. Zhou, Sauber, 1m30.647s, C4 – 85 laps
  4. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1m30.755s, C3 – 66 laps
  5. Tsunoda, Red Bull, 1m30.775s, C4 – 53 laps
  6. Albon, Williams, 1m30.984s, C4 – 121 laps
  7. Piastri, McLaren, 1m31.030s, C3 – 91 laps
  8. Alonso, Aston Martin, 1m31.159s, C3 – 75 laps
  9. Sainz, Ferrari, 1m31.247s, C3 – 71 laps
  10. Perez, Red Bull, 1m31.483s, C3 – 53 laps
  11. Hulkenberg, Haas, 1m31.686s, C3 – 89 laps
  12. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m31.999s, C5 – 49 laps
  13. Stroll, Aston Martin, 1m32.038s, C3 – 46 laps
  14. Norris, McLaren, 1m32.108s, C3 – 20 laps
  15. Gasly, Alpine, 1m32.149s, C3 – 47 laps
  16. Magnussen, Haas, 1m33.053s, C3 – 80 laps
  17. Ocon, Alpine, 1m33.079s, C3 – 55 laps
  18. Bottas, Sauber, 1m33.528s, C3 – 28 laps
  19. Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m37.015s, C1 – 70 laps

With pre-season testing now wrapped up, teams will shift their focus to refining their setups and strategies for the opening race, providing fans with much anticipation for the battles that lie ahead on the track.

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