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Snow delays start to third day of F1 testing in Spain

Snow covers the track at the Circuit de Catalunya today in Montmelo, on the outskirts of Barcelona, during the third day of the first week of testing for the upcoming Formula One season. AFP
Snow covers the track at the Circuit de Catalunya today in Montmelo, on the outskirts of Barcelona, during the third day of the first week of testing for the upcoming Formula One season. AFP

Snow delays start to third day of F1 testing in Spain

The start of the third day of Formula One preseason testing today was delayed due to heavy snow at the Circuit de Catalunya, organisers said.

Formula One’s official website confirmed that the start of action on the track near Barcelona was delayed “indefinitely”, saying there could be no start “until visibility improves and the medical helicopter is able to fly.”

Snow was expected to continue falling throughout the morning, with temperatures dropping to around freezing before picking up later.

The snow had already cut short Tuesday’s action, after Sebastian Vettel registered the fastest time in his new Ferrari, ahead of Valtteri Bottas of arch-rival Mercedes.

Vettel, a German, was 0.303sec faster than the Finn in freezing conditions as a McLaren, driven by Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, came third before snow cut the day short at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Due to the freezing weather a scheduled lunch stop was cancelled and the best times were all registered in a brief sunny spell.

A delighted Vettel tweeted: “Fastest Lap of both days of testing – Most Laps Completed – Highest Max Speed – A more than decent first day at the office.”

Dutch youngster Max Verstappen of Red Bull was fourth, while local driver Carlos Sainz Jr of Renault was fifth at 1.539sec.

Williams reserve driver Robert Kubica, who is attempting to return to Formula One seven years after a horrific crash but was beaten to a starting seat at Williams by 21-year-old Sergey Sirotkin, scored a small victory as he edged the Russian by 0.332sec.

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