Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas set the pace on Wednesday morning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as Formula 1 testing action got underway.
The Spanish Grand Prix venue is playing host to six days of testing across the next two weeks, with all 10 Formula 1 teams fielding a single car each day.
Warm and sunny conditions prevailed throughout the four-hour morning session, with Bottas clocking a best time of 1:17.313s, using Pirelli’s C3 tyres.
Pirelli has retained its 2019 compounds for this season after its 2020 specification were unanimously rejected by teams following last year’s post-season Abu Dhabi test.
Bottas’ time left him just 0.062s clear of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, while Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull, within half a second of last year’s championship runner-up.
Verstappen completed the most laps across the four-hour session, setting 91 laps.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz was fourth-fastest while Esteban Ocon resumed duties with Renault and classified a mere 0.003s down on the Spaniard.
After its nightmare start to the 2019 campaign – setting the tone for the remainder of the year – Williams was first out on track with its FW43 when the green light came on at the end of the pit lane.
George Russell went on to classify sixth overall, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who was a late replacement behind the wheel of the SF1000 for the unwell Sebastian Vettel.
Alfa Romeo unveiled its C39 prior to the start of testing and reserve driver Robert Kubica completed the morning in the car, taking eighth place.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen had the biggest moment of a clean and uninterrupted session as he slid wide through Campsa, but quickly recovered and continued his programme.
Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10 for the rebranded AlphaTauri outfit though classified just 1.171s behind pacesetter Bottas.
The afternoon session will begin at 14:00 local time and run through 18:00.
|2||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1:17.375||0.062||58||C3|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:17.787||0.474||91||C2|
|8||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo||1:18.386||1.073||59||C3|