Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Ferrari leads McLaren on first day of testing in Spain

2019 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel led the first day of testing for the 2019 F1 season.

Ferrari served notice of their intentions on the first day of the new season by both setting the fastest time and covering the most laps of any team. Vettel completed 169 tours of the Circuit de Catalunya – more than two-and-a-half race distances – in eight hours of running.

Carlos Sainz Jnr scaled the times sheets late of the day to end the test second-fastest for McLaren. This came after he caused one of the day’s four red flags when he came to a stop at the pit lane exit with a loss of power.

Stoppages of Kimi Raikkonen’s new Alfa Romeo C38 bookended the day’s proceedings. He got off to an inauspicious start with his new team by spinning off at turn four when the first test of the year was just five minutes old. He was swiftly back on track, however, and logged 114 laps before stopping on the start/finish straight moments before the chequered flag was due to fall.

The day’s other red flag was brought about when Romain Grosjean’s Haas VF-19 pulled up approaching the chicane. He went on to set the day’s third-fastest time, almost a second off Vettel’s mark.

Red Bull covered 128 laps with new engine supplier Red Bull with Max Verstappen at the wheel. he pipped Raikkonen to the day’s fourth-quickest time. Fellow Honda user Daniil Kvyat was sixth for for Toro Rosso.

Sergio Perez gave the new Racing Point RP19 its first run but the car, which hadn’t had a shakedown test, only managed 30 laps. This was considerably more than Williams, whose new car has not arrived at the track yet, and isn’t expected to until Wednesday.

Mercedes and Renault, the only teams to split their days between two drivers, occupied the bottom four places on the times sheet.

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2019 pre-season test day one lap times

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
15Sebastian VettelFerrariSF901’18.161169C3
255Carlos Sainz JnrMcLarenMCL341’18.5580.397119C4
38Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-191’19.1590.99865C3
433Max VerstappenRed BullRB151’19.4261.265128C3
57Kimi RaikkonenAlfa RomeoC381’19.4621.301114C3
626Daniil KvyatToro RossoSTR141’19.4641.30377C4
711Sergio PerezRacing PointRP191’19.9441.78330C3
877Valtteri BottasMercedesW101’20.1271.96669C2
944Lewis HamiltonMercedesW101’20.1351.97481C2
1027Nico HulkenbergRenaultRS191’20.9802.81965C2
113Daniel RicciardoRenaultRS191’20.9832.82244C2

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Author information

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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  • 39 comments on “Ferrari leads McLaren on first day of testing in Spain”

    1. Is this the first day in the V6 hybrid era that Mercedes (as an engine supplier) has finished the day with the fewest laps?

      1. I’m not sure how your calculator works, but after Ferrari, Mercedes did the most laps of anyone..

        1. Ah sorry.. engine supplier. Could be..

        2. 348 laps Ferrari
          228 laps Renault
          205 laps Honda
          180 laps Mercedes (no Williams on track)

      2. What happened to Perez?

        1. They had an issue in the morning.

    2. As a McLaren fan I am going to read absolutely ZERO into Sainz’s lap-times today.

      It’s the hope that kills you!

      1. Try being a Williams fan… :)

        1. They’ve always been my 2nd favourite team.

          Double the pain!

        2. @geemac well, right now it could be the fastest car on the grid, but we just don’t know yet. :P

        3. If they still put Latifi In the car this week, then I would be really worried

      2. I never was a McLaren fan, but I’m glad they had reliability today as well as RBR-Honda. The more competitive teams, the better. Shame for Williams though. Situation with Robert reminds me Kobayashi’s last season when he raced for Caterham with croudfunding and it was bitter to watch decent driver struggling in a crappy car.

      3. Alonso got a 1:17.7 last year at Barcelona, so 8 tenths slower in a car with less aero grip at a cooler time of year, I’d be optimistic with that.

      4. McLaren was the second fastest across all pre-season testing last year so I wouldn’t read too much into it

      5. Also, the time posted has been made on softer tyres. But let’s hope it’s not a dog of a car once again!

    3. Any info about the fuel pressure issue on the HAAS? Is it because they are running the 062 PU instead of the 064 like the Ferrari and Alfa?

    4. So, another season of time tables that omit the tyre types?

      1. It literally says the tyre type on the table…

        1. Maybe now people start complaining about lack of info on fuel level, wind strength/direction and track temperature.

          1. @coldfly yet nobody mentioned that sauber (ahem Alfa) is trying to get away with tyre 33 steps softer than the rest…

            1. I C what you did there ;)

    5. McLaren’s renaissance is underway! Praise the board!

    6. Here’s the tyre used on the driver’s fastest lap
      On the C3 (yellow, medium) tyre: Vettel, Grosjean, Verstappen, Raikkonen and Perez
      On the C2 (red, soft) tyre: Sainz and Kvyat
      On the C4 (white, hard) tyre: Bottas, Hamilton, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo

      1. You got confused with the C’s.. C1 hardest and C5 softest..

      2. yah its the inverse.

      3. Yes I did made a mess with the C numbers

    7. i watched todays live coverage on f1tv and have to say that it was super, super dull. far more boring to watch than the official practice sessions.

      can see why this stuff tends to get very poor viewing numbers as while the most diehard fans may really enjoy watching this stuff i do not think its something the majority of those who watch f1 are going to enjoy.

      1. I’d be really surprised if I’m counted among the most die-hard. I thought it was amazing, especially being able to see how the new cars look on the track in motion on day 1.

        I was really surprised about how there was always someone out on track. Expected a lot more of an empty track with no one running and closed garages.

        1. @skipgamer I took a one month subscription. I quite like the multicam archives. As for the testing session I got mixed feelings. The afternoon session is only with the FX audio, so no commentaries at all. It get absurd at the end where one can see presentators silently talk. Still gremlins that shouldn’t happen with a paid service but at least I got to see the cars! I’m sure it will improve and it’s nice that they try opening up all those treasures.

    8. Vettel spun just like Kimi, but Keith goes out of his way to tell us about an “inauspicious start” for Raikkonen and no mention of Seb’s spin.
      Kimi must have done something dire to Keith’s house, or his car, or something…

      1. Well, Kimi’s spin did cause the first red flag of the session.

      2. Seb’s Spin wasn’t worth mentioning. He lost the rear on turn 14, and caused no incident whatsoever. Kimi brought out a red flag.

        1. Each to their own. Thanks for mentioning it Islander. Was he pushing really hard or was it driver error? Who knows? Worth mentioning for sure in my humble opinion. Keith does not indulge in favouritism.

    9. @Lindamarks

      … so you don’t live in the British Isles, lucky you. F1tv is not available to us.

    10. I wonder what happened to Renault, if there were issues in the afternoon? They were looking so good at the half way point. Kinda sad to wake up to Ricciardo’s paltry 44 laps :(

      1. Hulk set his fastest time early in his running if I recall correctly so it seems they didn’t progress much … and Danny also made fewer laps in the afternoon but he’s the new guy so it might be due to that.
        Still I’m a bit suspicious about the team as they brought a car with many changes compared to the render they showed before…

    11. Get Alonso back! McLaren need a driver better than the average two!

    12. is vettel’s fastest lap was with opened or closed DRS.

    13. Red Bull: 128 laps.
      Haas-Rich Energy: 65 laps.

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