Vettel ends marathon day fastest for Ferrari – Test Day One (PM)

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – Sebastian Vettel has ended the first day of pre-season testing as fastest man for Ferrari. Topping off a good day for the Scuderia, he completed 15x laps.

Having ended the morning session at the top of the timesheets with a 1:18.161, Vettel added more than another Grand Prix distance under his belt as he finished the day with a total of 15x laps. While he didn’t improve on his morning time despite using the C4 marked softer compound tyres compared to his fastest time being set on the C3, it topped off what was a very positive first day of testing for Ferrari. Not only did they finish fastest, but their car completed the most mileage as they did 169 laps over the course of the day.

Carlos Sainz was P2 for McLaren, despite bringing out the red flags temporarily during the afternoon. Leaving the pitlane, he encountered a problem while performing a practice start and had to climb out of the car. Walking back to the pits, his car was recovered and his afternoon wasn’t heavily compromised. His best time of 1:18.558 was set on the C4 softer compound tyres and he completed 119 laps in total.

Ferrari power was in P3 as well, with Haas’ Romain Grosjean finishing the day strongly. His best time, set on the C3 tyre, was a 1:19.159 – almost exactly one second off the pace set by Vettel on the same tyre compound. Grosjean put in a total of 65 laps over the course of the day.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished P4 as his team adjusted to Honda power. Pace wasn’t bad, and neither was reliability – he did 128 laps of the track without incident. His best laptime, set on the C3 tyre, was 1:19.426.

Kimi Raikkonen, having had a shaky start to his Alfa career by sliding off the track on his morning out-lap, made up for it by finishing the day with 114 laps. His best time, set on the C3 tyre, was 1:19.462. However, he brought out the red flags again right at the very end of the day as he stopped out on track.

Toro Rosso underlined a good day for Honda as Daniil Kvyat was next up on the timesheets. The Russian driver did a 1:19.635 in the afternoon – an afternoon that saw the team only clock up six laps after completing a race distance in the morning. He did 77 in total.

Sergio Perez was P7 for Racing Point, with a best time of 1:19.944. This was set in the morning session on the C3 tyres and, like Toro Rosso, it was a quiet afternoon for the team as they only did ten laps.

Valtteri Bottas finished P8 on the timesheets but didn’t take part in the afternoon running. Instead, teammate Lewis Hamilton took over the W10 as he got back to work for 2019. His best time of 1:20.135 was just 0.008 seconds off Bottas’ time from the morning. Hamilton did 81 laps to Bottas’ 69 laps, meaning the Mercedes was the second highest mileage runner of the day. Bottas set his best time on the C2 tyre, as did Hamilton.

The two Renaults brought up the rear on their first day back. Nico Hulkenberg drove in the morning session and finished P10 while Ricciardo, taking over for the afternoon, was P11. Their times were just 0.003 seconds apart on the same tyre compound – both set their best times on the C2 tyre.

Results (Classification) (6:00pm):

  1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:18.161 169 Laps
  2. Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:18.558 119 Laps
  3. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:19.159 65 Laps
  4. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:19.426 128 Laps
  5. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:19.462 114 Laps
  6. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:19.635 77 Laps
  7. Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:19.944 30 Laps
  8. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.127 69 Laps
  9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.135 81 Laps
  10. Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:20.980 65 Laps
  11. Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:20.983 44 Laps

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website.

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