Norris fastest as Ferrari complete most laps on first day of testing

2022 F1 season

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McLaren’s Lando Norris was the quickest driver in the first day of pre-season testing in Barcelona, while Ferrari covered the most laps with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Norris was the only driver to break the 1’20 barrier on the opening day of testing for the 2022, setting a 1’19.568 in the late afternoon to go top of the timings after 101 laps of the Barcelona circuit. Leclerc’s morning effort of 1’20.165 was enough to see him end the day second-quickest.

But it was Ferrari who covered the greatest distance of all 10 teams over the course of the day, with Leclerc and Sainz combining for a total of 151 laps in the new F1-75 – two more than world champion Max Verstappen managed single-handed in the Red Bull.

As Formula 1’s new generation of heavily revised cars hit the track for the first day of testing, it was a surprisingly quiet day with few incidents or interruptions.

New Mercedes driver George Russell got his turn first in the W13 and ended the day with the fourth overall fastest time after logging 77 laps, just over a tenth quicker than team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel was sixth quickest for Aston Martin, with a best time two seconds faster than team mate Lance Stroll who drove almost a race distance in the afternoon.

Verstappen covered the most ground of any of the 16 drivers who took to the track during the opening day, recording 147 total laps in the RB18. His best lap time of 1’22.246 saw him end the first day as the ninth fastest runner.

It was a difficult day for Alfa Romeo in their camouflage testing livery, with Robert Kubica covering only nine laps in the morning session before Valtteri Bottas managed just 23 in the afternoon.

Mick Schumacher’s afternoon running in the Haas VF-22 was curtailed by floor damage, which was eventually fixed to allow him back out in the final hour. Schumacher finished the day with 23 laps, just a handful more than team mate Nikita Mazepin was able to cover in the morning.

2022 pre-season testing day one times:

Pos. Car number Driver Team Model Best time Gap Laps
1 4 Lando Norris McLaren MCL36 1’19.568 103
2 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1’20.165 0.597 80
3 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari F1-75 1’20.416 0.848 73
4 63 George Russell Mercedes W13 1’20.784 1.216 77
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1’20.929 1.361 50
6 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin AMR22 1’21.276 1.708 52
7 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri AT03 1’21.638 2.070 121
8 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine A522 1’21.746 2.178 127
9 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull RB18 1’22.246 2.678 147
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo C42 1’22.572 3.004 23
11 23 Alexander Albon Williams FW44 1’22.760 3.192 66
12 47 Mick Schumacher Haas VF-22 1’22.962 3.394 23
13 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin AMR22 1’23.327 3.759 67
14 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams FW44 1’23.379 3.811 66
15 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas VF-22 1’24.456 4.888 20
16 88 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo C42 1’25.909 6.341 9

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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16 comments on “Norris fastest as Ferrari complete most laps on first day of testing”

  1. Let me be the first to congratulate Lando.
    season over.
    bye, See y’all next year!

  2. Rumours are that the Ferrari looks on rails. The Red Bull too, but clearly on a higher fuel load.

  3. I don’t think you can read much into the times, but the lack of laps for Haas and Alfa Romeo is a bit concerning for those teams. Puts them immediately on the back foot.

  4. I’m just tickled to see McLaren & Ferrari in with a chance. It’s been very depressing to see teams that were real staples of the sport to be so off the pace. Now, if we can only get Williams up to speed…

    1. That would be fantastic. Huh I think we’ll consider us lucky to even have McLaren team in a few years, not some Audi in their place that will enter the sport, win or fail to win it and leave in four years closing the whole operation. I don’t understand why those stories excited some fans… Likewise, I hope we get to see Williams racing under the same name long into the future. I miss teams like Jordan and teams like Minardi too much already, so my hopes are modest; for these remaining historic teams to survive at all.

    2. I wouldn’t get too caught up in lap times on the first day of pre-pre-season testing, but it is exciting. I think we’ll have a good idea after the Bahrain testing, especially after a chance to see the cars out on track

      I’m still hoping for Charles Leclerc WDC!

    3. Teams that are staples of the sport… It’s not about that in racing. The team that does the best job deserves to win. McLaren is a completely different team now than 30 years ago anyway

  5. I’m kinda surprised that they are as close to the times of the old cars as they are on day 1 of testing with the new cars, Especially factoring in that track conditions are likely also not optimal.

    Fastest time today is only a bit under 3 seconds off last years pole & a bit under 1 second off the race fastest lap.

    By the time we come back for the GP i wouldn’t be surprised if they are matching the performance of the 2021 cars.

    1. @stefmeister Me too. I can’t remember the exact figures, but weren’t Pirelli suggesting that by the seasons end we might be getting close to the times of the old cars? I could be wrong. But at this rate, they’ll be faster in no time at all. Perhaps even the first round for some.

      1. It may be track releated. They know Barcelona inside out but it may be a different case at a track they don’t know so well. We still don’t know the top speeds or haven’t seenon board videos where they lose or gain time compared to last year.

        1. Hiland (@flyingferrarim)
          23rd February 2022, 23:15

          Also to expand on your notion of being track dependent. Looks like the balance at low speed will be a challenge for low speed corners/tracks from the sounds of it. So it will be harder to get the cars around due to lack of stability at low speed. The under floors work best at speed and with the lack of external downforce would result is less grip at low speed. Faster tracks like Silverstone will be fast for sure. But the Monaco’s maybe slower and clunkier.

      2. @bernasaurus there is the caveat that it is not unknown for teams to end up performing more strongly in pre-season tests compared to the times that they set in the Spanish GP later in the year (and that isn’t just a modern phenomenon too – there are examples of that occurring as far back as the early 2000s). Engine wear isn’t a significant factor compared to the season, and the benefits of having a cooler charge of air entering the engines can also help lift performance to a greater degree than being on a cooler track might disadvantage tyre performance (if that is necessarily detrimental for tyre performance, that is), so it’s not always entirely detrimental for performance.

        It is also a case that the impact will likely vary from circuit to circuit depending on the layout of the corners. The initial feedback is that performance in slow corners has significantly worsened, with that being linked to the marked increase in unsprung weight, the simplification of the suspension systems and the fact that the teams now have to run significantly stiffer cars that limits the ability of the drivers to ride kerbs have all markedly reduced performance in slow corners. At circuits which are relatively bumpy or feature numerous low speed corners, lap times probably will be noticeably slower than before (i.e. places like Hungary, Monaco or Singapore).

        At places like Barcelona, where the track surface is relatively smooth and the balance is shifted towards medium to high speed corners, the loss of performance in lower speed corners seems to be at least partially offset by a gain in higher speed corners. In particular, it seems that in the highest speed corners, where the cars were partially drag limited, the reduced drag of the cars does mean that high speed cornering is less noticeably impacted.

    2. 2020 day 1 practise was 3 seconds faster. That is still a lot of time

  6. Porpoising. This will be a big talking point this year. Cars which will deal with this phenomenon best will be ahead. Also F1 should consider Active suspensions now. It is very much road relevant too. Most of the high end sports cars as well as luxury cars have some sort of Active suspensions.

    Ferrari is looking promising.

    1. @amg44 Interesting and thanks for causing me to read up a bit on this phenomenon. Something tells me they shouldn’t end up suffering this too much, but I suppose that remains to be seen. It would be interesting to know what the teams have discussed about this with Brawn over the years since 2017 while he had two cars nose to tail in a wind tunnel to study this new direction they’ve gone.

  7. Men, I would give everything for a classic Ferrari vs McLaren season..

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