Formula 1

Lando Norris Fastest for McLaren on Opening Testing Day of 2022 in Spain

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Credit: Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images/McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris topped the opening day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Wednesday as all ten teams took to the track in their new-look cars competitively for the first time.

Charles Leclerc had topped the morning session for Scuderia Ferrari, but overall, the best time of the day went the way of Norris and the McLaren F1 Team with a 1:19.568.  

However, as with any test session, times meant very little, particularly on a day like this when everyone was coming to terms with the feel of the new cars, which have all been designed around the new aerodynamic regulations.

Sixteen drivers took to the track on Wednesday, with Norris being the first of those to venture out when the green light illuminated early on in his MCL36. 

The only ones not to see any action were Norris’ team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon, Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN’s rookie Guanyu Zhou.

Norris completed one hundred and three laps across the day, while Leclerc ran eighty laps just in the morning session before he handed over driving duties to team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. in the afternoon, the Spaniard setting the third best time of the day, completing seventy-three laps more in the process.

George Russell had his first taste of the W13 as the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team split their running between their drivers, the former Williams Racing driver completing seventy-seven laps.  Lewis Hamilton took over in the afternoon and added fifty more laps to the tally as the team-mates finished fourth and fifth.

Sebastian Vettel placed his Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team AMR22 into sixth, running fifty-two laps in the morning before handing over to Lance Stroll, the Canadian then adding sixty-seven more laps in the afternoon, although he was down in thirteenth overall.

Yuki Tsunoda completed one hundred and twenty-one laps for AlphaTauri in the new AT03, the Japanese racer ending seventh, just ahead of two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso for Alpine, the Spaniard also breaking through the one-hundred lap bracket as he completed one hundred and twenty-seven laps.

Red Bull showed off their real RB18 for the first time on Wednesday after showing a show car during their presentation last week, and reigning World Champion Max Verstappen was the busiest driver across the day as he completed one hundred and forty-seven laps in finishing ninth fastest.

Alfa Romeo’s new recruit, Valtteri Bottas, completed the top ten, but in a difficult day for the team, he only ran twenty-three laps.  Alfa Romeo were the odd ones out on the day as they devoted the morning session to test driver Robert Kubica, although the Polish racer was restricted to only nine laps due to little niggles that prevented him from taking to the track.

Alexander Albon, making his Formula 1 racing return in 2022 after sitting out last year, was eleventh fastest for Williams after taking over the car in the afternoon from Nicholas Latifi, who ended fourteenth.  Both Albon and Latifi ran sixty-six laps in their respective runs.

Another team to appear to have a few niggles was the Uralkali Haas F1 Team, with Mick Schumacher ending twelfth but only completing twenty-three laps, while Nikita Mazepin was fifteenth having only completed twenty laps in the morning’s running.

Testing will continue on Thursday.

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Pre-Season Test Day 1 Times

14Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:19.568103
216Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:20.165+0.59780
355Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari1:20.416+0.84873
463George RussellGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:20.784+1.21677
544Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:20.929+1.36150
65Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team1:21.276+1.70852
722Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri1:21.638+2.070121
814Fernando AlonsoESPBWT Alpine F1 Team1:21.746+2.178127
91Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1:22.246+2.678147
1077Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN1:22.572+3.00423
1123Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1:22.760+3.19266
1247Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:22.926+3.35823
136Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:23.327+3.75967
1418Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team1:23.379+3.81166
159Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:24.505+4.93720
1688Robert KubicaPOLAlfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN1:25.909+6.3419
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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