Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Yas Marina

Vettel leads Bottas and Stroll on test day one

2018 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel led the first day of post-season testing for Ferrari as several drivers took the opportunity to make an earlier start with their 2019 teams.

Vettel’s former Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen had a busy first day with Sauber. He logged over 100 laps but ended the day near the bottom of the times.

New Williams due Robert Kubica and George Russell shared the team’s FW41, as they will do again tomorrow. The team’s former driver Lance Stroll had his first outing for Force India, who are expected to confirm him as their race driver for next year. He set the third-quickest time after taking over the VJM11 from Sergio Perez.

Haas’s new test driver Pietro Fittipaldi sampled the VF-18 for the first time. However his day was interrupted after his power unit failed and needed to be replaced. The team which skipped the in-season test at the Hungaroring therefore covered the fewest laps of the session.

Fittipaldi said his first run in an F1 car was an “amazing” experience. “The braking power of the car, the acceleration, the speeds you carry through the corners, it was just insane. The car is so fast. It’s just stuck to the ground. The amount of downforce it has is unbelievable.

“We had small issues at the beginning of the day, but the team got them sorted. They really did a fantastic job to get back out there, and then in the afternoon we worked through the plan we had.” Fellow test driver Louis Deletraz will take over the car tomorrow.

Mercedes logged their usual mammoth testing mileage. Valtteri Bottas covered 120 laps, more than two race distances, on his way to the second-fastest time. However Toro Rosso test driver Sean Gelael was busiest of all, propping up the times after logging 150 laps.

2018 post-season test day one times

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
15Sebastian VettelFerrariSF71H1’36.812692018 hyper-soft
277Valtteri BottasMercedesW091’37.2310.4191202019 compound 5
318Lance StrollForce IndiaVJM111’37.4150.603562018 hyper-soft
433Max VerstappenRed BullRB141’37.9471.1351332018 ultra-soft
511Sergio PerezForce IndiaVJM111’37.9761.164672019 compound 5
647Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL331’38.1871.3751362019 compound 5
727Nico HulkenbergRenaultRS181’38.7891.9771282018 hyper-soft
851Pietro FittipaldiHaasVF-181’39.2012.389562018 hyper-soft
940Robert KubicaWilliamsFW411’39.2692.457322019 compound 5
1063George RussellWilliamsFW411’39.5122.700422019 compound 5
117Kimi RaikkonenSauberC371’39.8783.0661022019 compound 5
1238Sean GelaelToro RossoSTR131’40.4353.6231502018 hyper-soft

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2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Lance Stroll, Force India, Yas Marina
Stroll had his first run in a Force India but still hasn’t been confirmed as their 2019 driver

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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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45 comments on “Vettel leads Bottas and Stroll on test day one”

  1. *Awaits press release confirming Stroll after “promising test”*

    Or am I being cynical…?

    1. think is,,, if you have a good car in f1, then you can get good results. Stroll is destined to get good results now.

      1. With better car come bigger expectations. Stroll will fulfill those only if they sandbag Perez’ car and strategy (which wouldn’t surprise me a tiny bit). He’s lacking speed (even Sirotkin out-qualified him most of times), he’s definitely lacking consistency, mistakes come natural in almost every session. He may score more points now, but he surely won’t make Force India more competitive compared to Ocon, right? God, that Stroll family sure lacks some charisma, since most of us dislike them so much (and it’s not about the money, he’s not the richest F1 driver in history, nor the only spoiled rich kid in F1 at the moment).

    2. PS what was that parachute behind the RPFI when Perez drove it? ;)

      1. did you just reply to yourself as a different user name? ColdFly= Ben Needham

        1. just kidding ;)

          1. should be PNS (post non scriptum) ;)

      2. They accidentally installed the drs the wrong way around.

    3. It’s OK, we’re all here with you.

  2. It don’t mean a lot with fuel loads ect. And em tryin new stuff.

  3. Just an observation that only Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, Hulkenberg and Grosjean have raced against Kubica in Formula One before. Goes to show the turnover in eight years.

    Incidentally, only 14 drivers from 2018 will compete in 2019. Is that the lowest number ever from season to season? (Admittedly having done no research!).

    1. little trivia: and to add to that observation, Kubica beat all of those drivers (if in same competion) that were named in either junior categories or in F1, and the same cant be said for any of other said drivers in return!

      1. When did he beat Kimi in junior category?

        1. I said in junior “or in f1” – learn to read. he also was 3 times the driver Kimi was when you compare their WRC performance. Kimi 1 stage win. Kubica is lesser car, 15 stage wins.

          1. Let’s compare apple’s to oranges, sure! Kimi won the 2007 championship, Kubica was 6th, losing the battle to Heidfeld by 22 points (61 to 39) – with one race less.

            In 2008 they were tied but Kimi got 3rd as he had more wins. (arguably a ‘win’ for Robert, but still). In 2009 Kubica was 14th and he again lost to his teammate by two points.

            Then Kimi left and they never raced together in WRC. So I fail to see when he “beat Kimi”.

            As for all the over drivers, when did that happen? In Formula 3 (2004) he lost to both Hamilton and Rosberg. He won Formula Renault 3.5 in 2005 but against a very weak field (nobody made it to F1 except Markus Winkelhock). He did try to win Macau 3 times but he never did as well.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m really glad he is back, and he is one of the greater “what if’s” of the sport, but lets be realistic.

          2. @afonic took words out of my mouth. Kubica hasn’t beaten Kimi (at least so far) in F1. Learn to write facts kpcart.

            Anyway, happy to see him back and I hope he does well.

          3. @afonic, try as you might, I get the feeling that you are trying to reason with somebody who worships Kubica with the fanaticism of a religious zealot and therefore cannot be shifted from his dogmatic belief in Kubica.

            As you rightly note, Kubica was beaten several times by quite a few of those drivers – Hamilton managed to beat Kubica in the 2002 Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup championship, even though Hamilton only competed in four of the nine races whilst Kubica competed in eight of the nine races. To add to the comparison in Formula 2, Hamilton beat Kubica again despite the fact that Kubica was in his second year in Formula 3, whilst 2004 was in his rookie year when he competed in the 2004 Formula 3 Euro Cup – so, overall, the record is fairly convincingly in Hamilton’s favour rather than Kubica’s.

            With Grosjean, the comparison is quite clearly meaningless as Kubica and Grosjean never competed against each other – Grosjean didn’t become a professional driver until about two years after Kubica, so Kubica was always in a more senior series than Grosjean was.

            As for F1, well, the only season where they were both present was in 2009 – and, rationally, comparing Grosjean, who’d been hastily thrown into a fairly rubbish car – the R29 – without any preparation, versus a driver who was into his fourth season in the sport, is clearly not going to be a fair reflection.

            Similarly, the comparison with Hulkenberg is also pretty pointless – Hulkenberg never raced against Kubica in junior series and the only time they overlapped in F1 was in 2010, when Kubica was in his first year in the sport and was driving what was, quite clearly, a slower car than Kubica was.

            Similarly, Vettel never competed against Kubica in junior series either as, like several of those other drivers, his career started later than Kubica’s and Kubica was in more senior series. With regards to F1, again it is not exactly a great comparison – the 2007 and 2008 seasons saw Kubica driving a clearly superior car, whilst in 2009 and 2010 the situation flipped around.

      2. There must be something very wrong with some fact finders here.. Fact and fantasies seems without any boundarys in between.
        Not sure what you wanted to “”prove”” with made up “facts” and “trivia”.

        1. Hahahahahahhahahahahah. Trying to mingle with others who caught another out lying. Devious, devious, very devious erikje. But spare yourself the effort, most of us know you’re one of the biggest lying, fact bending, delusional, deceiving, orange FBoys out here in your never ending quest to talk Max into F1-greatness.

          I said to spare yourself the effort, but we both know you can’t help yourself.
          So keep’m coming, but be aware. I’ll be right here to slap you with stone cold data as cool as ice to confront and slap you in the face with.


    2. @ben-n I’m not sure whether it’s the lowest number ever from one season to another or not, but it’s only six out of 20 that’s changed from ’18 to ’19. 14 is still more than half the field.

      1. @jerejj Only Ericsson, Kobayashi, Magnussen and Kvyat started the 2014 season without participating in the 2013 season. Even if you include Stevens and Lotterer, that’s still nowhere near half the grid.

      2. @mashiat ”14 is still more than half the field.” – That wasn’t a reference to 2014, though. I meant 14 drivers out of the 20 who competed in F1 this past season.

        1. @jerejj I must be going mad. For some reason, I saw that as 2014.

  4. Really interesting seeing Williams doing so few laps, the drivers were doing 5 lap stints, and then heaps of time in pits. other teams did long runs, while Williams seemed to be working on setup, with so much time in the garage. Im thinking/hoping it was Russell and Kubica improving the car over Stroll/sirotkin on same track this past GP. both Russell/Kubica ended up faster than Stroll/Sirotkin in FP1-3 of the race weekend.

    1. How do you explain Stroll being faster than Ocon – Perez in fp1-3 of the race weekend.

      1. Fuel, tires, engine settings, different testing program, different other parts in the car, different car setup…?

    2. Really? They were on 2019 tyres and 5 lap stints suggest their tanks were dry. BTW Kubica was 1.5 sec slower than Stroll in FP1.

      1. Don’t you hate it when someone starts a conversation with a question?
        If Williams was running 5 lap stints, it certainly sounds like development work. Is there any indication if they (or any one else) were running the 2019 aero package or something close to it? This would be critical in trying to compare times given the various 2018 Tyres and the 2019 versions.
        Any indication of what a “Compound 5” is .?
        Between the sand-bagging of the faster teams, variations in fuel loads, tyre compounds, driver ego’s, power unit status …. most of the times here are pretty meaningless. Still great to see and ruminate over, but significant or meaningful, likely not.

        1. From the pics … it looks like the 2018, 5+ element out-wash front wings and low rear wing.
          No indication of the DRS open. Is this typically utilized in testing.?

        2. Teams can only run in this test what they raced in 2018 at Abu Dhabi, hence Merc were clever and raced a car with extra sensors on Sunday.

  5. Love it how people complaining throughout the season because there was no tyre info on the tables, and Keith puts them up right after the season has finished.

    Intended or not, I appreciate the passive aggressive humour

    1. I im pretty sure it is because it was officially published. everyone else is showing it now too on other site. You can love it all you want with your “misguide humour”

      1. uuhh, edgy

        1. Shall i tell you a secret.. it was a tire test!

  6. Sean Gelael was busiest of all, propping up the times after logging 150 laps.

    Can’t be easy when not used the F1 G-forces; he’ll probably have some painful muscles tonight.

    1. Hartley’s ceasing driving duties at TR has been on the cards for quite a while, so Gelael should have been forewarned of the fitness he needs. Nevertheless he probably wasn’t expecting 150 laps, so yes, he could well have some awful cramps.

  7. It is interesting that the article ends with “Mercedes logged their usual mammoth testing mileage. Valtteri Bottas covered 120 laps” when actually most of the other teams (Toro Rosso, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault and Force India, this with 2 different drivers) actually ran more laps.
    Half the field actually made more laps than Mercedes so I don’t find the 120 laps any big achievement…

  8. Not to put a damper on things, but didn’t it take Raikkonen 4 years to get the Ferrari to suit his driving style to finally avoid weird errors and not be slow, so how could this be different at Sauber?

    1. He did do quite well at lotus from the start…

  9. First time in 5 years that Mclaren have actually had a decent test session.

  10. Stroll:” So this is what an F1 car really feels like!”
    Kimi: ” So, this is what a midfield car really feels like! Been a long time.”

    Kidding aside, I’m really excited for next season now, so many new drivers and swaps. The cars won’t be all that different, so this will be the most interesting part of the series I believe. I hope the 2019 Williams isn’t the dog the 2018 was though, Kubica’s comeback won’t be any fun if his car is 3+ sec a lap slower.

    1. The cars are going to be hugely different.

      New simpler but wider front wings, demanding a new aero concept for the car, using more restrictive barge boards and a much larger rear wing with more powerful DRS.

  11. Love seeing Kubica in an F1 car – if anyone can help fix their issues, it’s him. Bring on 2019!

  12. I know we are all trying to read as much as we can into these results as we can, but I think this is just recognizing we about to go through 100 days of withdrawal.

    There is so much to look forward to with the driver lineup changes. I know you can only really be judged against your teammate, that’s why 2019 is going to be so interesting – 8 teams have different lineups.

    I have no idea if Stroll is quick, but I will be interested in seeing how he fares against a good driver in Perez. I really hope that Williams and McLaren are competitive next year. It was so difficult watching these two proud teams fall to the level they showed this year. I am really encouraged with Williams driver lineup next year. You at least have to say they are going to be great to watch. I will be more of a fan of Williams next year because I feel like they were really looking for the 2 best drivers they can get. You have to at least admit that Kubica is going to be a great story if he performs next year.

  13. They should completely ditch hard or medium, super soft and hyper soft. Along with mandatory pit stop. There should be more noticeable difference between different tyres.

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