Verstappen tops first day of testing in Spain

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F1 Test, Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunyaes

On the back his first podium finish of the season, Max Verstappen set the fastest time of the day during the first test at Circuit de Catalunya. The Red Bull driver completed 148 to make it a successful day for himself and his team.

Using the super soft tyre, Verstappen jumped atop the timesheet after noon, topping Carlos Sainz soon after he improved on Sebastian Vettel's earlier time.

Vettel and Ferrari were out to improve the understanding of their SF71-H after a difficult Spanish GP. Various developments were tried out on the SF71H, “but not aimed at Monaco” clarified the driver, “because that race is too much of a one-off. Let’s say we got some ideas and now we have to turn them into reality.” Seb’s best time of 1’17”659 was set in the afternoon on Soft compound tyres, of the type used at the start of the season and not in last weekend’s GP. “We learned various things on how to work on track like this one . We know we have a strong car,” concluded the driver before leaving the circuit.

Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest, a bit of a comeback from his early crash at last weekend's race that resulted in him received 3 penalty points on his super license.

Nicholas Latifi completed the entire day of testing for Force India while a second car, run by George Russell was used for Pirelli's tyre testing program.

McLaren was in the same boat, with race driver Vandoorne doing performance tests for McLaren while Norris and Turvey shared duties in the other McLaren for Pirelli. Lando ran a low-fuel programme in the morning, while Oliver ran with a higher fuel set-up in the afternoon. Both Pirelli and the team were satisfied with the running conducted during today’s closed test with the sister McLaren, and reported that both drivers completed their planned programmes in each session.

Lewis Hamilton clocked up the laps for Mercedes, ending the first day of in-season testing with 151 laps completed - the highest tally of any driver. The Brit finished the day sixth on the leaderboard with a best time of 1:18.543, set on Soft tyres in the morning session. Max Verstappen was quickest for Red Bull. Throughout the day, the team completed aero data collection, to check correlation between the wind tunnel and recent updates.

Toro Rosso test driver Sean Galael had the least fortunate day as he managed to complete only 50 laps. The car developed a failure on an oil radiator which caused a very big oil leak, and as a precaution the team decided to change the power unit. While the mechanics were praised to get it all done before the end of the session, the final 20 minutes were furthermore disrupted by another red flag, adding to the misfortune for Toro Rosso.

Testing continues tomorrow at Circuit de Catalunya.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1.Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:17.528-148
2.Carlos Sainz jrRenault1:17.562+0.034119
3.Sebastian VettelFerrari1:17.659+0.131136
4.Romain GrosjeanHaas F11:18.449+0.921129
5.Nicholas LatifiForce India1:18.530+1.002107
6.Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:18.543+1.015151
7.Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1:18.981+1.45385
8.Antonio GiovinazziSauber1:19.693+2.165135
9.Oliver RowlandWilliams1:20.009+2.481121
10.Lando NorrisMcLaren1:20.997+3.46976
11.George RussellForce India1:21.478+3.950123
12.Sean GelaelToro Rosso1:21.935+4.40750
13.Oliver TurveyMcLaren1:23.070+5.54258