Chilton Fastest During First Day Of Testing

by Alex Goldschmidt

During the first day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya this week, as the teams look for further developments on their new cars, it was a disrupted day near to the Spanish coast. Marussia’s Max Chilton topped the time sheets at the end of the day with a 1:26.434, which was over two-tenths of a second quicker that Lotus F1 test driver, Charles Pic.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton ended up third after a last-minute dash by Pic to secure second, but was leading for the morning’s proceedings, which was shortened to wait until the rain disappeared.  The Brit was the man that covered the most distance during the day, totalling 79 laps altogether.

After a difficult day in the office for Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen, he ended up behind the current points leader, but there is still much for the Italian squad to catch up with its rivals. Several issues, including power unit problems, meant that the Finn would only complete twenty laps in total.

Toro Rosso’s Jean-Éric Vergne took part in some of the scheduled compulsory Pirelli testing  along with Sauber, and ended up fifth, even with some technical problems. Germany’s Nico Hülkenberg was sixth for Sahara Force India, with both himself and Williams Martini Racing‘s Felipe Massa, who placed seventh, both completing over 50 laps respectively.

McLaren Mercedes’ lead driver, Jenson Button, ended up eighth, as the team look to improve the MP4-29 further before heading to Monaco, with Caterham‘s Kamui Kobayashi placing ahead of Infiniti Red Bull Racing‘s Sebastién Buemi, who round out the top ten.

The Swiss driver, who is currently racing with Toyota in the World Endurance Championship, completed 54 laps in total, before a gearbox issue with the RB10 ended his day prematurely.

Sauber’s Giedo van der Garde was at the bottom of the times, as the Swiss team are still attempting to understand the nuances of the new lightweight and updated C33, after a difficult first weekend back in Europe.

Testing continues tomorrow at the Spanish track, as Susie Wolff will drive for Williams in an official Formula 1 capacity ahead of her first practice session at Silverstone, as Mercedes tries new ways of increasing the level of noise that may be more favourable towards the ears of a Formula One fan.

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