Berliner Boersenzeitung - Ferrari's Leclerc tops times as F1 testing ends

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Ferrari's Leclerc tops times as F1 testing ends
Ferrari's Leclerc tops times as F1 testing ends / Photo: Andrej ISAKOVIC - AFP

Ferrari's Leclerc tops times as F1 testing ends

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc set the fastest time as Formula One's pre-season winter testing ended Friday on the same Sakhir circuit which will stage the world championship opener next week.

Text size:

Leclerc was 0.046sec ahead of George Russell's Mercedes while China's Zhou Guanyu was a surprise third fastest in a Sauber.

Defending world champion Max Verstappen, the overwhelming favourite to make it four titles in a row in 2024, was only fourth fastest with Japan's Yuki Tsunoda of Racing Bulls filling out the top five.

However, Verstappen opted to drive on softer tyres, therefore making him relatively slower on the day.

The new F1 season starts in Bahrain on March 2 and will feature a record 24 races.

Testing times on Friday:

1. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1min 30.322sec (74 laps), 2. George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) at +0.046 (67), 3. Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Sauber) +0.325 (85), 4. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) +0.433 (66), 5. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/Racing Bulls) +0.453 (53), 6. Alex Albon (THA/Williams) +0.662 (121), 7. Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren) +0.708 (91), 8. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin) +0.837 (75), 9. Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) +0.925 (71), 10. Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull) +1.161 (53), 11. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Haas) +1.364 (89), 12. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) +1.677 (49), 13. Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin) +1.716 (46), 14. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) +1.786 (20), 15. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine) +1.827 (47), 16. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas) +2.731 (80), 17. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine) +2.757 (55), 18. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Sauber) +3.206 (28), 19. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Racing Bulls) +6.693 (70)

(L.Kaufmann--BBZ)