Valtteri Bottas just edged out Max Verstappen to go fastest on the final day of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Having been put in the driving seat for the afternoon session, Bottas put his Mercedes on top late in the afternoon setting a 1m16.196 – the second fastest time of testing so far.
But the Finn’s impressive pace was closely matched by Verstappen, who ended up just a tenth of a second slower in his Red Bull, all while using a slower tyre compound.
Daniel Ricciardo, who put his Renault at the top of the time sheets before lunch, ended the day in third in what the French team’s was most impressive showing so far in Barcelona.
And just behind was Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Ocon rounding off the top six.
Getting up to speed
Teams upped the pace as testing drew to a close in Barcelona, with most setting personal best times over the six days of testing before all ten teams take to the track in Melbourne, Australia to begin the 2020 season in March.
And this showed on the time sheets with the top six being separated by just two tenths of a second.
But despite the impressive times, the fastest time of testing so far remains untouched, with Bottas’ 1m15 from the first week of testing proving tough to beat and puts Mercedes as the early benchmark before the first official session of the season is even underway.
Racing point continue to impress
Sergio Perez continued Racing Point’s impressive form by going seventh fastest, with the Mexican just four tenths off today’s best time using medium compound tyres.
He and Carlos Sainz, who finished in eight, spent the afternoon focussing on long runs, while George Russell ended up ninth fastest for Williams while carrying out aero tests.
Daniil Kvyat ended the day tenth fastest for AlphaTauri, with Romain Grosjean behind in 11th and Kimi Raikkonen 12th.
Kevin Magnussen ended up 13th after spending most his day in the garage with clutch issues, while Alexander Albon was slowest of the field.