Barcelona F1 2020 testing: All the statistics over six days

Pablo Elizalde
motorsport.com

Testing rarely shows the complete picture, seen most starkly in 2019 when Ferrari’s impressive performance in Barcelona was followed by an underwhelming start to the season.

Yet a look at the numbers supports the case for Mercedes once again being the team to beat in Melbourne after it topped every single area.

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Valtteri Bottas’ gave an early sign of Mercedes’ strength in the opening week when he laid down a fastest lap of 1m15.732s, putting him just three-tenths of a second shy of his own track record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

His effort would go unbeaten through the second test, giving him a half a second buffer over the rest of the field. Max Verstappen was the next-best driver, finishing 0.537s adrift. Bottas’s final day effort of 1m16.196s meant he ended the test with the two fastest laps.

Verstappen was able to rise to P2 with a qualifying simulation on the C5 tyres in the final hour of testing. A series of spins through testing had raised some concerns about a potentially skittish trait in the RB16 car, but Verstappen stressed there was nothing to be worried about.

While defending world champion Lewis Hamilton could only finish fifth-fastest in testing, he did lead the way on mileage despite a couple of setbacks for Mercedes. Hamilton racked up 466 laps over his six half-days of running - equivalent to seven race distances - to finish 20 laps clear of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

Mercedes also led the team mileage counts as Hamilton and Bottas hit a combined total of 903 laps, 59 more than Ferrari. There’s not a single measurable metric where the German marque trailed through testing.

However, a spate of engine issues for Mercedes and customer team Williams - often relating to the oil system - has flared some reliability fears. Williams was forced to use three engines through testing, while Mercedes had two separate issues, prompting Hamilton to call it a “difficult winter”.

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Ferrari’s approach through testing was to avoid overhyping its performance and focus more on getting the basics right after its disappointing start to the season last year. It still trailed Mercedes’ lap count, but was only 150 laps shy of its total from 2019 when it had two additional days - proof of its change in approach.

Two of the biggest gainers from 2019 were Williams and Racing Point. In Williams’ case, it’s of little surprise given last year’s woes, but to end testing with 737 laps under its belt (compared to 567 in the 5.5 days it had in ‘19) is a serious achievement. Without its engine issues, the team could have ranked very highly on the lap counts.

Racing Point’s progression is even starker, though. The ‘pink Mercedes’ turned heads on the opening day of testing, but proved itself to be both reliable and quick. Racing Point completed 782 laps over six days. Last year, it managed 625 laps in eight days. Sergio Perez finished seventh-fastest overall, but was just four-tenths of a second off Verstappen’s best lap time.

The maturity of the regulations meant all of the teams were able hit the ground running and rack up some big mileage numbers. The only real anomaly was Haas, which with 649 laps was almost 100 adrift of the rest of the field.

Come Melbourne, the true picture of the F1 field may become a bit clearer. But if testing is anything to go by, Mercedes will once again be leading the pack come the chequered flag at Albert Park.

Combined fastest laps from the two tests

Pos

Driver

Time

1

Valtteri Bottas

1'15.732

2

Max Verstappen

1'16.269

3

Daniel Ricciardo

1'16.276

4

Charles Leclerc

1'16.360

5

Lewis Hamilton

1'16.410

6

Esteban Ocon

1'16.433

7

Sergio Perez

1'16.634

8

Carlos Sainz

1'16.820

9

Sebastian Vettel

1'16.841

10

George Russell

1'16.871

11

Daniil Kvyat

1'16.914

12

Robert Kubica

1'16.942

13

Romain Grosjean

1'17.037

14

Pierre Gasly

1'17.066

15

Kimi Raikkonen

1'17.091

16

Lance Stroll

1'17.118

17

Nicholas Latifi

1'17.313

18

Kevin Magnussen

1'17.495

19

Alexander Albon

1'17.550

20

Lando Norris

1'17.573

21

Antonio Giovinazzi

1'19.670

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Laps completed per driver

Pos

 Driver

Total

1

Lewis Hamilton 

466

2

446

3

Charles Leclerc 

442

4

Sergio Perez 

441

5

Valtteri Bottas 

437

6

Max Verstappen 

414

7

Sebastian Vettel 

402

8

Romain Grosjean 

399

9

Daniil Kvyat 

399

10

George Russell 

394

11

Esteban Ocon 

376

12

Pierre Gasly 

370

13

Daniel Ricciardo 

367

14

Alexander Albon 

366

15

Lando Norris 

356

16

Nicholas Latifi 

343

17

Lance Stroll 

341

18

Antonio Giovinazzi 

323

19

Kimi Raikkonen 

300

20

Kevin Magnussen 

250

21

Robert Kubica 

112

Km completed per driver

Pos

 Driver

 Total 

1

Lewis Hamilton 

2169

2

2076

3

Charles Leclerc 

2058

4

Sergio Perez 

2053

5

Valtteri Bottas 

2034

6

Max Verstappen 

1927

7

Sebastian Vettel 

1871

8

Romain Grosjean 

1857

9

Daniil Kvyat 

1857

10

George Russell 

1834

11

Esteban Ocon 

1750

12

Pierre Gasly 

1722

13

Daniel Ricciardo 

1708

14

Alexander Albon 

1704

15

Lando Norris 

1657

16

Nicholas Latifi 

1597

17

Lance Stroll 

1587

18

Antonio Giovinazzi 

1504

19

Kimi Raikkonen 

1397

20

Kevin Magnussen 

1164

21

Robert Kubica 

521

Laps completed per team

Pos

Team

 Total 

1

Mercedes

903

2

Ferrari

844

3

McLaren

802

4

Racing Point

782

5

Red Bull

780

6

AlphaTauri

769

7

Renault

743

8

Williams

737

9

Alfa Romeo

735

10

Haas

649

Km completed per team

 Pos

Team

 Total 

1

Mercedes

4203

2

Ferrari

3929

3

McLaren

3733

4

Racing Point

3640

5

Red Bull

3631

6

AlphaTauri

3580

7

Renault

3459

8

Williams

3431

9

Alfa Romeo

3421

10

Haas

3021

Laps completed per engine

Pos

Engine

 Total 

1

Mercedes

2422

2

Ferrari

2228

3

Honda

1549

4

Renault

1545

Km completed per engine

Pos

Engine

 Total 

1

Mercedes

11274

2

Ferrari

10371

3

Honda

7211

4

Renault

7192

 

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