Leclerc paying no attention to topping penultimate day of second F1 test

Mercedes brings heavily updated car to second test	
				Image by Mauger  LAT

Vettel's young Monegasque team mate Charles Leclerc was testing the auto on Thursday with the four-times world champion German, who was not hurt in Wednesday's incident, due to return for the final day on Friday.

Nevertheless, it was an impressive display by Leclerc, who put in 138 laps having clocked a mark of one minute and 16.231 seconds from an impressive late charge on C5 Pirelli tyres before the lunch break.

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

Mercedes were again towards the bottom of the timesheets with Valtteri Bottas eighth and five times world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton ninth.

Asked if he could have matched Leclerc's effort, Gasly said: "Honestly, no". I hit the wall quite strongly and I think the Tecpro and the wall did their job and the vehicle did its job but of course after the impact the auto was very damaged.

Sainz toured the 2.892 mile course in 1:17.144 with his MCL34 to lead the pack, despite an early water-pressure issue during the morning session that disrupted the team's program briefly before they returned to the track.

"There's still some margin, a bit obviously in myself I still have to learn and get more comfortable with the auto".

Liverpool, Spurs face crucial derby battles as title hots up
But there's also the Rome derby to look forward to as Lazio and Roma go head to head with both teams fighting for a top four spot. Mane's cheeky back-heel had the Liverpool star trending on social media, with fans in awe of his remarkably bold effort.

Daniel Ricciardo drove 65 laps for Renault, clocking the fifth quickest of the day, while Romain Grosjean was also able to finally get some late track time following exhaust problems on the Haas vehicle.

A long-run comparison between Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull looked possible in the afternoon as all three teams attempted a race simulation after lunch. After that I wasn't in control anymore and went straight into the barriers.

"Red Bull seem in good shape as well", Bottas said.

"By the feeling there was an issue with the front left corner and from there, there wasn't anything that I could have done to avoid the impact", said the German.

"I think we are looking strong at the moment, but whether they are sandbagging more or less or whatsoever we don't know and we'll only know in qualifying but for now, we are pretty happy with the job we're doing".

"But we got it done and that was very positive, especially as this was my last day in the auto before Australia".

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