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F1 Testing, Day Three Second Test: Ferrari set fastest times of winter

F1 Testing, Day Three Second Test: Ferrari set fastest times of winter

"We got a lot of laps today which is a good thing, but we've come across a few little hurdles, so we're just working our way through them, trying to be as diligent as possible trying to understand the causes - which is exactly what testing is for", said Hamilton.

For the first time in pre-season testing, Ferrari hinted at the true pace of its 2019 vehicle by setting a time within a tenth of a second of the all-time lap record at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The team issued a statement on Thursday which stated: "After thorough checks we found that Seb's off yesterday was due to a rim issue".

Speaking about his lap time, Leclerc added: "Obviously, I think as every team, we are not flat out".

The heavy contact severely damaged the rear end of the auto while the front wing also broke off, and Red Bull's day ended after just 65 laps.

Williams continued with its recovery program as George Russell managed the highest individual mileage with 140 laps.

A truck carries the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel after he crashed into the barriers.

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Mercedes were again towards the bottom of the timesheets with Valtteri Bottas eighth and five times world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton ninth. The accident brought a premature end to Red Bull's afternoon and gave the team's nightshift mechanics a heavy workload ahead of the final day of testing on Friday.

"They still seem strong, (but) as always from testing to Melbourne a lot can change", said Bottas, who had the slowest time of the 13 drivers.

Red Bull's Pierre Gasly swiftly lowered the mark at 1min 17.91secs on medium compound C3 tyres.

Racing Point's Lance Stroll also came to a halt on the straight between Turn Nine and 10, which saw another red flag delay.

McLaren driver Carlos Sainz was leading Wednesday's session with a time of 1 minute, 17.144 seconds, the fastest so far after six days of testing.

Ferrari has identified a wheel rim failure as the cause of Sebastian Vettel's crash on Wednesday at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco drives past a banner in support of former Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, outside Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.

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