Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc fires warning after blistering lap in testing

Pierre Gasly's Red Bull is lifted onto a recovery truck

Pre-season testing times are notoriously unreliable indicators of form because it is impossible to know the specification in which teams are running their cars, while fuel loads, engine modes and other aspects can make a significant difference to performance.

Sergio Perez was second for Racing Point F1, seven tenths adrift at 1:17.842, while Ferrari ran into disaster despite Sebastian Vettel posting the third-quickest lap of the day at 1:18.195.

New Scuderia Ferrari recruit Leclerc managed the fastest time seen in the first seven days of testing, with a 1 minute 16.231 seconds on the softest C5 tyres.

Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon clocked the second fastest time of the session, followed by Lando Norris in his McLaren.

"Obviously I think as every team we are not flat out".

"Having a guy like Fernando testing the vehicle is a good thing for the team". "There's still some margin, a bit in myself".

"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.

Gasly, meanwhile, saw his day end early after colliding with the barrier at Turn Nine.

Red Bull later put out a statement on the team's official Twitter account confirming Gasly was not hurt.

Their new front wing concept has worked wonderfully well for them and they are comfortably ahead of Red Bull and Mercedes at the moment. "I wasn't in control any more and went more or less straight into the barrier".

"Yeah I made a mistake in Turn 9 and basically lost the vehicle, pretty big crash, one of the biggest crash I had so far".

"It will be a long night for the mechanics, I'm sorry for them".

Similarly there was no comparison from Mercedes against the Ferrari lap, with Lewis Hamilton completing 85 laps in the morning before handing over to Valtteri Bottas to complete a race simulation after lunch.

"This is just testing and we are just doing more qualifying-based runs so we can see what you can do with the vehicle".

Testing will continue through Friday at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, home to the Spanish Grand Prix.

"It hasn't changed since day one, to be honest".

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