Vettel ends first day of testing on top

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F1 Test, Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Sebastian Vettel was fastest at the end of the first day of testing at Barcelona. A reliable Ferrari allowed him to do more than 160 laps, sending a strong message to Mercedes and other rivals.

On the back on a largely troublefree morning session, teams continued at 14:00 local time for another 4 hours of running. Once again, without Williams, who reported they'll be missing Tuesday's running as well.

Vettel was the first man out on track, but soon returned after a single installation lap. No rush for him, as he was already topping the charts of the morning, both on the timing sheet as on the lap counter with 72 laps completed in the morning. That's three more than Bottas, and eight more than Hulkenberg.

The latter was free for the afternoon as Daniel Ricciardo stepped into the R.S.19, making his official debut for Renault. Same matters at Mercedes, as Lewis Hamilton took over the wheel of the W10 for the afternoon.

Following a duel - which wasn't really one, as Hamilton ran 8s slower - between Hamilton and Vettel, the track got more busy as Perez and Raikkonen joined the action. Verstappen en Sainz did so a bit later.

Sainz though stranded at the end of the pitlane at 15:00, triggering a red flag to get the car back to the McLaren pitbox. "The car stopped," is Sainz's summary, as he makes the short walk back to the McLaren garage. "I was just doing a practice start. Up until now it's been a smooth day, we haven't had any complications until now."

At 15:32, Kvyat finally managed a better time for Toro Rosso, putting him ahead of Hulkenberg, Grosjean and Ricciardo. Good news for Toro Rosso after a disappointing morning session.

It was rapidly clear that Mercedes and Ferrari were just going on from their high lap tally from the morning, with Hamilton racking up 37 laps in the first 90 minutes of his pre-season test.

Verstappen proved busy as well, having had a bit of a quiet morning. He mainly did long runs on the medium tyres, just like Vettel and Hamilton.

Thanks to the morning times, Vettel ended the day on top, a minute earlier than expected as just before the scheduled end of the session, Kimi Raikkonen came to a halt at Turn 1.

Results

No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1Sebastian VettelFerrari1:18.161-169
2Carlos Sainz jrMcLaren1:18.558+0.397119
3Romain GrosjeanHaas F11:19.159+0.99865
4Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:19.426+1.265128
5Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing1:19.462+1.301114
6Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:19.635+1.47476
7Sergio PerezRacing Point1:19.944+1.78330
8Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:20.127+1.96669
9Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:20.135+1.97481
10Nico HülkenbergRenault1:20.980+2.81965
11Daniel RicciardoRenault1:20.983+2.82244