Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton set the pace as he
led a Mercedes 1-2 on the opening day of 2020 Formula 1 pre-season testing.
All 10 teams convened on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on
Wednesday for the first of six days of running, with fine and sunny conditions
prevailing through the two four-hour sessions.
Valtteri Bottas clocked the quickest time during the morning
session before handing over test duties to Hamilton for the afternoon session.
Hamilton quickly moved to the top of the leaderboard and
then improved further to set a time of 1:16.976, leaving him three-tenths clear
of his team-mate.
Racing Point finished third courtesy of Sergio Perez while
Max Verstappen suffered two spins at the chicane en route to fourth overall.
Daniil Kvyat classified fifth for AlphaTauri, ahead of McLaren’s
Carlos Sainz Jr. and the Renault pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, who
shared duties in the interim-liveried R.S.20.
George Russell was ninth for Williams on an encouraging day
for last year’s backmarkers while Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10.
Charles Leclerc was a subdued 11th for Ferrari after stepping into the SF1000 last-minute in place of the unwell Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc’s best time was nonetheless just 1.313s down on
pacesetter Hamilton, on a competitive opening day of action at the Spanish
Grand Prix venue.
2020’s sole debutant Nicholas Latifi took over the reins of the FW43 from Russell for the afternoon session and was 12th, ahead of Alfa Romeo tester Robert Kubica.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Alfa Romeo racer Antonio
Giovinazzi finished at the foot of the timesheets.
Formula 1 pre-season testing will resume at 09:00 local time on Wednesday.
|3||S. Perez||Racing Point||1:17.375||0.399||58||C3|
|4||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||1:17.516||0.540||168||C3|
|10||L. Stroll||Racing Point||1:18.282||1.306||50||C2|
|13||R. Kubica||Alfa Romeo||1:18.386||1.410||59||C3|
|15||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:20.096||3.120||79||C3|