Vettel tops first day of testing at Jerez

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F1 Test, Jerez, Circuit Permanente de Jerezes

The first of three pre-season test has kicked off at Jerez today, seeing the debut of a host of new cars designed for 2015, but sadly also the absence of two of last year's Formula One teams.

On a very chilly but sunny morning in Southern Spain, the track went green at 9:00 local time, triggering Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes AMG F1 and Sauber to come out immediately for a shakedown run. Williams only revealed their car 20 before 9 so weren't ready yet while McLaren publicly stated they were still hard at work on their car.

Mercedes soon got on with the job with Rosberg completing 27 laps in just the first two hours. Even this early in testing he proved to be consistently faster than the best times set last year at Jerez testing.

A bit before that, at around 10:45 local time, Fernando Alonso ventured out on track for a reconnaissance lap in the McLaren. 30 minutes later he went out again for another lap, right at the time when Daniel Ricciardo crawled back into the pits with fire coming out of the back of his RB11.

After 4 hours of running, Mercedes appears to have taken the clear lead once again with Rosberg totalling 60 laps, the best of which being 1:23.106.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamBestGapLaps
1.Nico RosbergMercedes AMG F11:23.106-60
2.Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:24.641+1.53522
3.Marcus EricssonSauber1:24.804+1.69830
4.Sebastian VettelFerrari1:25.764+2.6589
5.Carlos Sainz jrToro Rosso1:26.081+2.97520
6.Valtteri BottasWilliams1:28.479+5.3734
7.Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:40.738+17.6326

Running in the afternoon proved to be rather straightforward, with no problems except for Carlos Sainz Jr. who stopped on track and had to be brought back to the pits by the recovery vehicle. The Spaniard was not seen again out on track today, totalling 46 laps.

Quite a bit before that, Sebastian Vettel jumped atop the timesheet, followed by Marcus Ericsson at little more than a tenth.

Half an hour before the end of the session, McLaren reported it would not be running again due to electrical problems. That ended the day for Alonso with just 6 laps.

Nico Rosberg on the other hand kept lapping the track without even the slightest of problems. When returning to the pits, it was frequently to perform pitstop practice and refuelling. Towards the end of the day, the team switched their operating modus and repeatedly sprayed the F1W06 with flowviz to perform some aerodynamic validation.

When the session ended at 5:00 local time, Rosberg totalled 157, just shy of the 160 mark that many were speculating about and a massive effort with a brand new car.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamBestGapLaps
1.Sebastian VettelFerrari1:22.620-60
2.Marcus EricssonSauber1:22.777+0.15730
3.Nico RosbergMercedes AMG F11:23.106+0.486157
4.Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:23.338+0.71835
5.Valtteri BottasWilliams1:23.906+1.28673
6.Carlos Sainz jrToro Rosso1:25.327+2.70746
7.Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:40.738+18.1186