Test 2, Day 1: Kubica goes fastest for Alfa Romeo

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F1 Test, Barcelona, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Testing resumed today at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona for the second and final 3-day test before teams head off to start the 2020 season. Yet again, it was Mercedes who kicked off proceedings, immediately being very busy out on track.

15 minutes into the session, it was Latifi who was the only man out on track after Hamilton returned to the pits, and Grosjean ended his short stay out on the circuit. The Williams driver combined short runs with brief stoppages in the pits as the team were clearly busy adjusting aero equipment on the car after each run.

Robert Kubica was fairly active as well for Alfa Romeo. Renault on the other hand only woke up 25 minutes into the session, bringing Ricciardo out for his first laps of the test.

At 9:40, both Vettel and Hamilton came out on track with Pirelli's special Zandvoort tyres. These specials, adapted for the new banked corners at the redesigned Dutch circuit will be tested throughout this 3-day test to give tyre supplier Pirelli an idea of their applicability.

Overall, everything was fairly straightforward in the first two hours, apart from a little spin from Kubica. The Pole didn't damage anything and kept his car on track, enabling him to safely return to the pits without help, and without the need for a red flag.

Just 5 minutes after that 2 hour mark, Vettel slides through the gravel. He kept the SF1000 out of the barriers and managed to return safely to the pits. A 10-minute red flag was the result, and when the session got underway again, Vettel was the first to return to the track.

A bit later on, Nicholas Latifi also caused a red flag as his Williams FW43 came to a halt at Turn 9.

Half an hour before the end of the morning session, Kubica finally improved on Hamilton's time from earlier this morning to go fastest. The Pole was extremely busy with aero evaluation work, but when the rakes came off, he turned out a whole lot faster. Gasly and Albon later also improved on that early benchmark from Hamilton, but neither could match the best of Kubica with the Alfa Romeo C39.

For the afternoon session, most teams swapped drivers, as they all learned that the high mileage is more feasible when drivers share duties, rather than asking one driver to complete nearly three race distances on a single day.

There weren't any major mishaps in the entire afternoon, and most teams opted to go for longer runs with higher fuel loads, making sure that Robert Kubica's time from the morning session wasn't improved upon.

At the end of the day, Romain Grosjean completed the highest number of laps, but only due to the fact he stayed in the Haas for the entire day. It was yet again Mercedes AMG F1 that added most laps on their car as Hamilton and Bottas added 179 laps on the W11. Ferrari, the second most active team of the day, ended up with 164.