Alexander Albon set the fastest time seen so far at Barcelona to go P1 for Toro Rosso in the first session of Day 4 of pre-season testing.
After team mate Daniil Kvyat had led the way yesterday, Albon continued to uphold the honour for the team from Faenza, setting a 1m 17.637s around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya using the softest C5 Pirelli tyres.
Albon headed the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo by a tenth and a half, the Australian posting his team’s first sub-1m 18s time of the week with a 1m 17.785s.
With Mercedes having failed to record a lap below 1m 19s across the first three days of testing, the Silver Arrows finally turned up the wick on Lewis Hamilton’s W10 and bolted on some softer C4 rubber, the resultant time putting Hamilton third fastest with a lap of 1m 17.977s.
He was narrowly ahead of Charles Leclerc, as we got the first sniff in 2019 of the Mercedes/Ferrari battle that most likely lies ahead this year, while Leclerc’s morning was punctuated by a minor spin into the gravel – although he was able to drive out under his own steam.