Vettel Back To The Top In Barcelona Testing

Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time during testing on Thursday. (Ferrari Photo)

BARCELONA, Spain – Sebastian Vettel was back at the top of pre-season Formula One testing charts on Thursday at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Vettel put his Ferrari at the top of the charts with an unofficial track record time of 1:17.182. He completed 188 laps on Thursday, just 10 laps shy of thee Spanish Grand Prix race distances.

Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen impressed by setting the second fastest time of the day at 1:18.360, roughly a second slower than Vettel, while also turning 153 laps. The major difference was Vettel’s time was set on the new Hypersoft tire, while Magnussen’s was set on the supersoft tire.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly was third fastest after turning 169 laps on Thursday.┬áRenault drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz took turns and set the fourth and fifth fastest times of the day. Combined Hulkenberg and Sainz turned 148 laps.

After a few rough days for McLaren, the team rebounded by setting the sixth fastest time as Stoffel Vandoorne completed 147 laps. Marcus Ericsson was seventh for Sauber, followed by the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in eighth and ninth, with Williams reserve driver Robert Kubica completing the top-10.

Also turning laps on Thursday were Force India’s Sergio Perez, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Williams’ Lance Stroll.