The two Mercedes drivers occupied the top spots on the timing sheets at the end of the first day of pre-season testing and covered more laps than any other team.
Lewis Hamilton took over from Valtteri Bottas in the W11 after the lunch break. He lowered his team mate’s best time of the day by over three-tenths of a second to finish the first session on top. The pair are due to share the car again tomorrow.
Bottas shaded Sergio Perez, who set a strong third-fastest tune for Racing Point before handing the team’s new 2020 car over to Lance Stroll. The car’s outward similarity to last year’s Mercedes drew much attention.
Max Verstappen spent the whole day in the RB16 which he spun twice but kept out of the barriers. He single-handedly logged 168 laps – over two-and-a-half race distances at the home of the Spanish Grand Prix.
AlphaTauri made a steady start to the day, conducting a series of aerodynamic runs, but Daniil Kvyat backed up the team’s sister car with the fifth fastest time.
[smr2020test]The Renault-powered cars were next: Carlos Sainz Jnr had the McLaren MCL35 to himself, while Daniel Ricciardo took over the new Renault RS20 in the afternoon and took almost a tenth of a second team mate Esteban Ocon’s best time.
Williams divided their running between George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, the former taking the FW43 to the ninth-fastest time. Stroll was tenth after his run in the Racing Point leaving Leclerc, who was drafted in as a substitute for his unwell Ferrari team mate, outside the top 10. However at this early stage in testing, five five days still to run, it is unlikely to cause much concern for the Scuderia.
Robert Kubica, the only test driver in action during this week’s test, ended the day 13th ahead of Kevin Magnussen Haas and his Alfa Romeo team mate Antonio Giovinazzi.
2020 testing day one lap times
|Pos.||Car number||Driver||Team||Model||Best time||Gap||Laps||Tyres|
|3||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||RP20||1’17.375||0.399||58||C3|
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||RB16||1’17.516||0.540||168||C3|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jnr||McLaren||MCL35||1’17.842||0.866||161||C3|
|10||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||RP20||1’18.282||1.306||50||C2|
|13||88||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo||C39||1’18.386||1.410||59||C3|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||C39||1’20.096||3.120||78||C3|
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2020 F1 season
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- F1 revenues fell by $877 million in Covid-struck 2020 season
- Hamilton and Mercedes finally announce new deal for 2021 season
- F1 audience figures “strong” in 2020 despite dip in television viewers
- 2020 F1 driver rankings #1: Lewis Hamilton