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Mortara tops final day of Season 8 pre-season testing

Eduardo Mortara tops the final day of testing with the fastest time of the week.

After qualifying and race simulations in the first two days of testing, the Thursday session was six hours of free running.

Mortara topped the times just before the mid-point of the session with a 1m25.763s time around the Valencia circuit, and wouldn’t be removed throughout the remainder of the session.

Unlike the first two days of testing, it wasn’t a Mercedes domination as five different teams with four different powertrains came in at the top of the order.

Jean-Eric Vergne, who had briefly led early on, was second quickest and just 0.041s behind Mortara. Stoffel Vandoorne in P3 was also within a tenth of a second of the Venturi driver.

There were two brief stoppages during the session.

Early on, Oliver Askew span at turn eight and the red flags were waved to clear the car.

Not long after the track turned green again, Segio Sette Camara suffered a technical problem that caused him to stop at turn eight, bringing out the red flags. The Dragon driver would eventually get back out on track, but it was valuable running lost for the team which was only running one car for the final day of testing.

Antonio Giovinazzi and NIO 333’s Dan Ticktum both left for Saudi Arabia after the second day. Ticktum was replaced by NIO reserve Adam Carroll, but Dragon opted to only field one driver.

Dragon wasn’t the only team to lose running. Virgin’s Nick Cassidy spent a considerable amount of times in the pits while his mechanics worked on the drive train. He would be able to get out late on and put in an impressive lap to go seventh quickest, just ahead of team-mate Robin Frijns.

Mitch Evans and Pascal Wehrlein were the other late improvers, slotting into P4 and 5 respectively in the final hour of running and bumping Mercedes’ Nyck de Vries down to P6.

Antonio Felix da Costa and Alexander Sims completed the top 10.

Bethonie Waring

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