Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunta, 2018

Driver line-up for first F1 test of 2018 confirmed

2018 F1 season

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The driver line-up for the first test of the 2018 F1 season has been confirmed.

Fernando Alonso will be in action on the first day of testing at his home track as McLaren aims to make a strong start to its first season as a Renault engine customer.

World champion Lewis Hamilton will begin testing the W09 on Tuesday. He and team mate Valtteri Bottas will continue to share the car over the following days but the team is keeping its plans flexible due to concerns about weather conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Williams will split its running between different drivers in the morning and afternoon on each day of the test. Reserve driver Robert Kubica will spent two afternoons in the FW41 while race drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin will share the rest of the running.

Renault will also split driving duties during each of the four days.

Force India is due to officially present its VJM11 for the first time one hour before the test begins.

Team Car Monday 26th February Tuesday 27th February Wednesday 28th February Thursday 1st March
Mercedes W09 Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton TBC TBC
Ferrari SF71H Kimi Raikkonen Sebastian Vettel Kimi Raikkonen Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull RB14 Daniel Ricciardo Max Verstappen Daniel Ricciardo Max Verstappen
Force India VJM11 Nikita Mazepin Esteban Ocon Sergio Perez Nicholas Latifi
Williams FW41 Lance Stroll/Sergey Sirotkin Sergey Sirotkin/Robert Kubica Lance Stroll/Robert Kubica Sergey Sirotkin/Lance Stroll
Renault RS18 Nico Hulkenberg/Carlos Sainz Jnr Carlos Sainz Jnr/Nico Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg/Carlos Sainz Jnr Carlos Sainz Jnr/Nico Hulkenberg
Toro Rosso STR13 Brendon Hartley Pierre Gasly Brendon Hartley Pierre Gasly
Haas VF-18 Romain Grosjean Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean Kevin Magnussen
McLaren MCL33 Fernando Alonso Stoffel Vandoorne Fernando Alonso Stoffel Vandoorne
Sauber C37 Marcus Ericsson Charles Leclerc Marcus Ericsson Charles Leclerc

RaceFans will be covering both tests at the Circuit de Catalunya from the track. Join us for live updates starting tomorrow at 6:30am UK time.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 15 comments on “Driver line-up for first F1 test of 2018 confirmed”

    1. Vettel fan 17 (@)
      25th February 2018, 19:51

      Really 2asnt to see how Leclerc performs. Hopefully he becomes a future star.

      1. I 2asnt to see too

        1. I 2asnt it so bad it hurts.

          1. Come on guys, that 2asnt funny…

          2. I 2asnt to make this a meme…

    2. Great to see Nikita Mazepin get a chance, he was the highest scoring Russian in European F3 in both 2016 and 2017. He was also the only one.

      1. It is now tradition for billionairs to put their kids in an F1 car at age 18. That diamond covered LaFerrari gets boring really fast.

        On a serious note, Nikita is a spoilt little brat that suckerpunches his opponents when he doesn’t get what he wants. I hope for reliability issues tomorrow.

    3. A bit surprising that Mercedes isn’t going to do the same as Williams and Renault (at least not for the first two days), which is what they’ve tended to do at pre-season testing in recent years.

      1. Apparently Lewis couldn’t have his stylish Gucci Opti-Grab shades ready in time for Monday. Maybe for the next test they’ll split the session view.

        1. Lol- that’s funny!!

          I found it strange for Force India to give the first day of a new season to a test driver!

          Apart from the Sky Sports coverage how are other people viewing the testing days? Any good streaming available??

          1. +1 Anyone know if the usual bunch of streaming sites will be running test coverage?

    4. angelic (@angelicdarkness)
      25th February 2018, 23:43

      Is it a coincidence that the “better”drivers of almost all teams will be twsting on tuesday? I think not.

      1. nope, no coincidence. Because the first day will mostly be verifying runs to see if everything really is connected, and works as planned.

      2. @angelicdarkness
        I don’t think your impression is backed by the facts. There has been a change in the Mercedes lineup, Bottas will be in the car for the first half, while Hamilton takes over in the afternoon.

        Mercedes: both
        Ferrari: #2 driver
        Red Bull #2 driver
        Force India #3 driver
        Williams: both
        Renault: both
        Toro Rosso: ? (no idea who’s better. no idea if they’re any good, to be honest)
        Haas: #1 driver
        McLaren: #1 driver
        Sauber: ? (yeah, Ericsson doesn’t really belong in F1, and Leclerc looks like a huge talent, but since Leclerc is new to F1, it makes more sense to field Ericsson)

        3 teams are fielding ‘slower’ drivers (which is a bit harsh in Ricciardo’s case, as he’s still a very good driver, and would be considered an asset in pretty much any team), two teams are fielding their strongest drivers, and 5 teams either field both drivers on the same day, or have a constellation where it’s difficult to tell which driver is better.

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