Mercedes dominant on day one of 2020 Formula 1 testing

by Ed Spencer

Mercedes-AMG Motorsport have drawn first blood in pre-season testing after topping the timesheets in both sessions, Valtteri Bottas in the morning and Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon.

The day began with all 20 drivers participating in a photoshoot on the front straight of the circuit de Catalunya with the returning Esteban Ocon shaking hands with Max Verstappen, in a move that may symbolise peace between the two after the pair nearly came to blows in the parc ferme of the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Alfa Romeo Racing and Haas F1 Team took the morning to formally launch their 2020 challengers with Alfa Romeo also confirming Tatiana Calderon as the team’s test driver and ambassador in what will be her fourth year with the team.

There was drama at Scuderia Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel was ruled out of day one of testing with illness leaving Charles Leclerc to take part in both sessions.

At 9 am local time, testing got underway with Williams Racing’s George Russell the first to take to the track.

Fastest in the morning session was Bottas who put the new Mercedes W11 top with a time of 1:17.313 and 78 laps under Finn’s belt.

Second fastest was Racing Point’s Sergio Perez who was only 0.062 seconds behind the Finn as he managed to achieve a lap time of 1:17.375 and 58 laps as the new Racing Point RP20 mixed with the big guns.

Third fastest and also achieving the most laps was Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen with a time of 1:17.787 and 91 laps.

Ferrari was notably slower than an expected as Charles Leclerc could only manage eighth quickest with a time of 1:18.289 and 64 laps.

Williams had a good morning session with Russell going sixth fastest with a time of 1:18.168 as the Brit bettered his 2019 qualifying lap by nearly over a second.

Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica got a run out in the morning session with the new Alfa Romeo C39 with the Pole finishing thirteenth overall with a time of 1:18.386 and 59 laps before he handed over to Antonio Giovinazzi for the afternoon session

The champion returns

After the lunch break, the afternoon session commenced with Mercedes once again topping the timesheets and Hamilton going fastest overall with a 1:16.976, completing 94 laps.

The second half of the session saw a number of spins with Verstappen spinning off twice at the final corner, whilst Kevin Magnussen lost it into turn 9 spinning his Haas-VF20 into the gravel trap.

Nicholas Latifi got his first run out in testing as an F1 driver with the Canadian going twelfth fastest with a time of 1:18.382 and sixty-three laps.

F1 Testing – Week 1 – Day 1 Results

PosDriverCarTimeGapLaps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:16.976s94
2Valtteri BottasMercedes1:17.313s+0.337s79
3Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1:17.375s+0.399s58
4Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1:17.517s+0.540s168
5Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1:17.698s+0.722s116
6Carlos Sainz JrMcLaren-Renault1:17.842s+0.866s161
7Daniel RicciardoRenault1:17.873s+0.897s56
8Esteban OconRenault1:18.004s+1.028s62
9George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1:18.168s+1.192s73
10Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1:18.282s+1.306s52
11Charles LeclercFerrari1:18.289s+1.313s132
12Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1:18.382s+1.406s63
13Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1:18.386s+1.410s59
14Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1:18.466s+1.490s106
15Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1:20.096s+3.120s79

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