Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was the pace setter as Formula One pre-season testing got underway at the Barcelona Circuit Du Catalunya in Spain on Monday. In the RB14, Ricciardo completed 105 laps and ended the day with a time of 01:20.179s and speaking following a cold opening day, the Australian commented by saying:
That was… cold! But apart from that it was good. “In the morning when it was dry everything was fine but in the afternoon the conditions were really tricky. It’s hard to get anything working with tyres in these temperatures, especially as they’ve also re-laid the surface. When the temperature is there it’s good, but when it’s cold there really isn’t any grip! However, it was still a good day and we got over 100 laps done, with, I think, one run of 35 laps. So reliability was solid and hats off to everyone for that. Performance? Yeah, It’s nice to see yourself at the top of the timesheets but in two-degree temperatures you really can’t learn anything!
Speaking following the season, Red Bull Racing’s Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin commented by saying:
That was a good start to testing for us. The fact that this year we had the car finished ahead of schedule certainly helped I think; just having that deadline of last week’s filming day meant we had to be able to fire the car up and run. And I think the value of that deadline shows in what we got done today, which is certainly the largest lap total for a first day of pre-season testing that we’ve had in some time. It’s a validation of some of the changes we made over the winter. It was a good outing, we got a lot of laps under our belt and we had good reliability. That’s all you can ask for. It is day one and we take nothing for granted, but overall, we’re pretty pleased with what we achieved.
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas was second fastest in the W09 with a fastest time of 01:20.349s.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest for the Prancing Horse in the Iceman’s first day in the car. Raikkonen completed 80 laps in the SF71H with a fastest time of 01:20.506s and speaking following the day of action, Raikkonen commented by saying:
The real problem, the only one today, was the weather. “My first impressions with the new car were OK, but it’s still too early to make any judgement, especially given today’s conditions. These tyres aren’t designed to work at 8 degrees and it was difficult for everyone. As for the rest, our work had nothing to do with lap times and we just ran and changed a few things, trying to understand the car, which doesn’t seem to have any faults. Now we must try and do more kilometres.
Raikkonen went on to discuss Halo:
Compared to the tests we did in previous years, this time the Halo had been conceived as an integral part of the car design, which had not been possible before. I didn’t notice anything different to driving the car without the protection.
It was a strong day for the Renault Sport F1 Team as both Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz in action for the Enstone outfit. The pairing completed a total of 99 laps in total for the outfit.
Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton drove the W09 for the first time in the afternoon session set the sixth fastest time of the day with a 01:22.327.
It was a productive first day for the McLaren Renault partnership as Fernando Alonso completed 48 laps ending the day with the seventh fastest time of the day with a 01:22.538s.
Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley ended the Italian teams first day with Honda just behind Fernando Alonso completing a staggering 93 laps with a fastest time of 01:22.371s.
Lance Stroll ended the day in ninth place for Williams Martini Racing with a fastest time of 01:22.452s. The Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten.
Marcus Ericsson ended the day in 11th place for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, the Swede ended the day just ahead of Force India’s development driver Nikita Mazepin who completed 22 laps in the VJM11.
New Williams Martini Racing Team driver Sergey Sirotkin rounded out the order in 12th place with a fastest time of 01:44.148 completing 25 laps. Testing continues tomorrow.