Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2022

Hamilton and Russell lead Mercedes one-two as first test concludes

2022 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell put Mercedes on top of the timesheets at the end of the final day of the first pre-season test for the 2022 F1 season.

After Russell set the pace in the morning session on the the softest tyre compound, Hamilton used them late in the final hour of running to put both Mercedes drivers first and second on the final day and for overall fastest lap times from the test.

Red Bull ended the final day third and fourth fastest, with Sergio Perez’s best lap time exactly two tenths quicker than world champion team mate Max Verstappen.

In the morning, Russell’s early benchmark of a 1’19.233 was enough to see him go quickest of the test so far during a disrupted first session in which there were five red flag stoppages.

During the lunch break, Pirelli soaked the circuit to allow for some wet weather tyre running during the afternoon session, which helped to demonstrate the visible impact the new technical regulations have made to how cars disperse spray at high speed.

The track eventually dried out, allowing many of the drivers who had taken over the cars for the afternoon session – namely Hamilton, Perez, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Daniel Ricciardo – to enjoy some runs on the dry tyres. Hamilton used a fresh set of soft tyres to lower the fastest lap of the day and the entire test with a 1’19.138, just under a tenth faster than team mate Russell.

Early problems in the day led to a number of teams cutting their day’s running short. Alpine suffered the most spectacular problems when Fernando Alonso experienced a hydraulic leak which led to a fire on the rear of the A552, which meant Esteban Ocon was unable to get any running in the afternoon.

A similar problem halted Aston Martin. After Sebastian Vettel stopped on circuit prior to the lunch break, Lance Stroll was unable to drive a single lap in the afternoon session as Aston Martin confirmed that an oil leak had caused a similar fire in the AMR22.

Yuki Tsunoda was left sitting in the garage after team mate Pierre Gasly pitched his AlphaTauri into the barriers in the morning session, causing damage that the team was unable to repair in time for Tsunoda to take over in the car.

Valtteri Bottas’s difficult test continued on Friday as he was only able to record 10 laps in the C42 in the afternoon. He has covered the fewest total laps of any of the 20 race drivers to have partaken in the test.

The second three day test will take place in Bahrain between Thursday 10th and Saturday 12th of March.

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2022 pre-season testing day three times:

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’19.13894
263George RussellMercedesW131’19.2330.09566
311Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’19.5560.41874
41Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’19.7560.61859
55Sebastian VettelAston MartinAMR221’19.8240.68648
616Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’19.8310.69344
755Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’20.0720.93492
86Nicholas LatifiWilliamsFW441’20.6991.56194
93Daniel RicciardoMcLarenMCL361’20.7901.65213
104Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL361’20.8271.68986
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpineA5221’21.2422.10452
1224Guanyu ZhouAlfa RomeoC421’21.9392.80112
1310Pierre GaslyAlphaTauriAT031’22.4693.33141
1423Alexander AlbonWilliamsFW441’22.6523.51440
159Nikita MazepinHaasVF-221’26.2297.0919
1677Valtteri BottasAlfa RomeoC421’30.43311.29510
1718Lance StrollAston MartinAMR220
1847Mick SchumacherHaasVF-220
1931Esteban OconAlpineA5220
2022Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauriAT030

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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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18 comments on “Hamilton and Russell lead Mercedes one-two as first test concludes”

  1. Is the information on the tires they set their fastest times on unattainable?

    1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      25th February 2022, 17:51

      Lewis softest, Max mediums

      1. Lewis wasn’t on the softest per what I understood, he was on the C4.

        1. He was on C5s, but just improved by a couple of thousands over his time on the C4s, 0.003 I think.

    2. Apparently Hamilton and Russell set their times in C5s, Pérez in C4 and Verstappen in C3. Although as @srga91 said Hamilton’s time in C5s was almost identical to his time in C4. He lost 0.5 s in the last sector so probably lifted.

      1. Thank you for the responses.

        1. And according to Pirelli in the Barcelona´s conditions “the gap from C3 to C4 is about a second and from C4 to C5 is 0.4s”. Making the corrections it looks close between Mercedes and RB.

  2. Wait are the rear tyres always this fat last year?

    1. @f1fan-2000 Yes & ever since 2017.

  3. Gone are the 13-inch tires that have been present for decades, and in their place come 18-inch tires, again provided by sole supplier Pirelli, which has held the role since 2011. The new sizes are part of the wide-ranging technical changes being introduced for 2022. Each driver per weekend has eight Softs, three Mediums and two Hards. “When the drivers tell you there is less overheating because ‘I can push and drive more aggressively and still have the grip and still see the lap time’, that’s the best feedback we can have.

    1. @keithcollantine you should take a look at the post listed here, because the “name” has a link embedded within it and the post itself has cut and pasted the text of a previous article.

  4. These tests probably start seeing something closer to real values: mercedes > red bull > ferrari sounds plausible when you know how consistently strong each team is.

    1. In other words – same old. Who knows, but then I think we know. Money is not the only resource (if we believe that this cap can be truly enforced), teams are far from being equal in terms of capability and that shows. So far it really smells of another 2021 in terms of pecking order, but I hope we get another (Ferrari) team capable of winning on merit.

      1. Well Mercedes are WCC for nearly a decade…

        Anything but P1 is a disappointment by their standards.

  5. A shame for Alpine, AM, AT, & Haas.

  6. The Mercs usually hide in the back somewhere and turn out to be fastest at season start. Now they are at the top of the timing sheet. Does it mean the car is cr*p? ;-)

    1. new regs and brand new cars and concepts. Why would anyone sandbag if they aren’t even sure their solution is the best?
      Maybe next year when everyone will be aware of what work and what doesn’t.

  7. Good be good indication. Ferrari was always fastest in testing in the past… Mercedes taking the Ferrari role for a season would be a delight.

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