Vettel Leads the Way for Ferrari on Opening Day of Final Test


Sebastian Vettel was fastest on day one
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sebastian Vettel ended the opening day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but there were problems for both the McLaren F1 Team and Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda that restricted both teams’ running.

Vettel racked up an impressive one hundred and seventy-one laps on Tuesday, with the Scuderia Ferrari driver setting the best lap of the day of 1:20.396s, which was 0.200 seconds clear of Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport’s Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes split their running between Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, with the reigning World Champion ending fourth fastest, with the duo completing a total of one hundred and seventy-seven laps between them, making them the busiest team on the day.

In between the two Mercedes drivers was Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, who completed one hundred and thirty laps in the RB14, but the sister outfit at Toro Rosso lost the final three and a half hours of track time due to a brake issue.

However, Pierre Gasly still managed fifty-four laps and set the fifth fastest time, with Kevin Magnussen completing ninety-six laps for the Haas F1 Team in sixth ahead of Renault Sport Formula One Team drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr., who completed forty-eight and ninety-three laps respectively.

Williams Martini Racing was another team to split their day between their drivers, with Sergey Sirotkin ending ninth fastest having completed forty-two laps, while Lance Stroll was thirteenth, completing eighty-six laps.

Sergio Perez managed ninety-three laps for the Sahara Force India F1 Team and finished tenth fastest, ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who completed one hundred and twenty laps for the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

However, the team that will be scratching their heads overnight will be McLaren, with Stoffel Vandoorne completing only thirty-eight laps as he thrice stopped on track, the first time one his first lap of the day as he suffered a power shutdown, with a similar problem coming an hour later.

His afternoon session was then curtailed by more mechanical woes as a hydraulics problem left him frustrated in the pit lane, and McLaren will be looking to make up for lost time on Wednesday.