Leclerc ready to bet on Ferrari after fastest lap


Alexander Albon, the Britain-born Thai driver, was second fastest in his Toro Rosso, ahead of McLaren's British rookie Lando Norris and Gasly.

Between them, the Mercedes pair did 176 laps however.

Vettel had already registered the third fastest time during his 40 laps on Wednesday morning. Especially after the lack of running yesterday it's a good morning for us, and it's good to be on top but it doesn't mean anything.

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However, it was Scuderia driver Leclerc who made an impressive late charge on C5 Pirelli tyres to continue to drop the time, finishing clear on 1:16.231.

Asked if he could have matched Leclerc's effort, Gasly said: "Honestly, no. We have some potential, we tested a lot of things, we have good performance, but we have to work hard as well as they seem really fast". To be fair, I think they are really fast, they show some good pace, try to focus on ourselves and not focus too much on the others. There's still some margin, a bit obviously in myself. Coming into testing you always want to get the most mileage as possible and we've done that, so it's been a lot of learning and getting comfortable with the auto - something I wouldn't have been able to do if we weren't reliable. However, a high-speed accident for Gasly on the approach to Turn 9 ruled the Red Bull out and interrupted the runs of Ferrari and Mercedes.

The Frenchman, who has moved up from Toro Rosso to replace departed Australian Daniel Ricciardo, was unhurt but the impact did considerable damage to the auto and ended the team's programme for the day. I wasn't in control anymore and went more or less straight into the barriers. He said he hopes to be able to complete a race simulation in that time.

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Friday will be the last of the eight days of pre-season testing. Long night for the mechanics, sorry for them, but most important is we can get Max [Verstappen] in the auto tomorrow.

There is one remaining day of testing this week, before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 14-16 March. Ferrari, who dominated the first days of testing last week, ended with the fewest laps of all teams on Wednesday (Thursday NZT).

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