Testing is over and the teams can do no more until the start of the season in two weeks’ time, but it was a day of reflection for so many after the passing of legendary commentator Murray Walker yesterday aged 97.
The teams wasted no time getting out onto track, with all ten drivers of the morning session getting out on track, but only six drivers had set a timed lap during the opening half an hour of the session.
Charles Leclerc took his Ferrari to the top of the timesheets with a 1:30.486 on the medium tyres early in the session.
It was a fairly calm session with no real incidents of note, while Perez and Leclerc were battling for the fastest lap time, but it was the new Red Bull that ended the session on top with a 1:30.187.
George Russell also got his first test session in his new challenger and ended the morning in eight place, two and a half seconds behind Perez.
Lando Norris also impressed in his McLaren, setting the third fastest time before lunch, which was just under half a second off Perez out front.
The afternoon session got off to its usual slow start, with teams filtering back from their lunch, and once again we didn’t see the reigning Champions Mercedes until after the first hour of the session had passed.
Red Bull and Alpha Tauri started to get the most out of their Honda engines, going 1-2 at one stage before Kimi Raikkonen went to the stop of the standings within the final hour. He remained their for only a few minutes until Max Verstappen went top with a 1:29.733.
Yuki Tsunoda then took his Alpha Tauri to the top of the standings with 45 minutes left of the session, beating Verstappen’s lap by 0.062 seconds. The rookie’s performance has excited many F1 fans around the world and may just show that Alpha Tauri may move up a dew places in the constructor’s standings.
Verstappen then became the first driver to dip into the 1:28’s and ended the day top of the standings, with the fastest lap of the entire three-day test.
Mercedes again appears to be struggling, but there is every possibility that they will turn up in two weeks’ time and win the race comfortably by 30 seconds. The car seems difficult to handle and with two very experienced drivers in Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas, they are really struggle or fantastic actors.
It was also a frustrating day for Aston Martin who finished bottom of the standings with Sebastian Vettel 17th and Lance Stroll 18th. They have had issues which has kept the car in the garage for most of the day, and with this being the final day of testing, they might not be in the best position going into the season.
While testing tells us very little about the final running order of the cars this season, the World Champions have got some work to do in order to retain their crown. The Honda-powered Red Bull and Alpha Tauri look strong and even the Ferrari powered Alfa Romeo is looking much better this season.
2020’s bottom team Williams also look to have made gains, but we will have to wait until the opening race of the season in two weeks time.
You may also like
McLaren announce organisational changes within F1 team
F1 Saudi Arabia: Alonso regains third place following penalty reversal
F1 Saudi Arabia Race Report: Perez wins as Alonso loses podium with penalty
F1 Saudi Arabia Qualifying Report: Perez takes pole as Verstappen exits in Q2
F1 Saudi Arabia FP3 Report: Verstappen claims practice hat-trick