Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished the first day of the first pre-season test of 2016 on top of the time sheets ahead of defending champion Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes W07 Hybrid.
The German set his best time of 1:24.939 on the medium compound tyres just before lunch to take the top spot for the day. For the rest of the day it was testing as usual for Ferrari which seen Vettel rack up 69 laps.
A few doors up the paddock, Lewis Hamilton racked up an astonishing 156 laps on the day. That’s 698km, which is just a little over two race lengths. “It’s good to be back. It really had felt like a while – but now it feels like home already,” said Hamilton. He finished second fastest on the day with a 1:25.409.
Daniel Ricciardo finished third fastest clocking up 87 laps on the day after a bit of a slow start. This, in contrast to the previous season’s testing, seems like a big improvement from the team. “First impressions are positive but it’s still too early to say much more. We had a good day and I’m ready for more,” said Ricciardo at the end of the day’s running.
Valtteri Bottas ended his day 4th fastest for Williams completing 80 laps. Bottas’ first impression of the car was that he feels many of the issues they’ve had last year have been fixed but he thinks its too early to say where they are in relation to the other teams.
“Valtteri has been complimentary about aspects of the FW38 which is good start,” said the Chief and Test Support Engineer Rob Nelson.
“We are just building up our run lengths and doing our due diligence on reliability, and as the test goes on we’ll feed in more and more performance items. Overall it is a reasonable start to pre-season testing for us.
Mexican Alfonso Celis was in the VJM09 for Force India. He finished 5th fastest with 58 laps to his name. Not far off his pace was Jenson Button in the McLaren MP4-31 finishing 6th fastest with 84 laps on the board. Button’s best time of 1:26.735 came courtesy of a late run on the soft compound tyres.
Carlos Sainz was out for Toro Rosso today. The team chose not to have a big reveal in the pits and instead just emerged from the pits when the green flag dropped for the start of the day. Sainz finished 7th fastest with 55 laps under his belt. His session was cut short when the team saw something strange in the gearbox oil system. The team decided to stop their session as a precaution.
Sauber, who ran an updated livery but a 2015 car, had Marcus Ericsson at the wheel of the C34. He placed 8th fastest on the day ahead of Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein. Wehrlein, on his first outing for the new look Manor team, clocked up 54 laps.
New comers Haas F1 had a good start to their debut test until a front wing failure brought out the red flags. The team say that they have a fix for the wing and will have a replacement by Tuesday. The wing failure put Grosjean out for most of the day. He did, however, emerge from the pits with an hour left in the session to complete a few laps.
Jolyon Palmer was 11th fastest for Renaul in the R.S.16. He had limited running owing to software issued on the car.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari SF16-H||1:24.939||–||69|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid||1:25.409||+0.470||156|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-TAG Heuer RB12||1:26.044||+1.105||87|
|4||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes FW38||1:26.091||+1.152||80|
|5||Alfonso Celis||Force India-Mercedes VJM09||1:26.298||+1.359||58|
|6||Jenson Button||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||1:26.735||+1.796||84|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR11||1:27.180||+2.241||55|
|8||Marcus Ericcson||Sauber-Ferrari C34||1:27.555||+2.616||88|
|9||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing-Ferrari MRT05||1:28.292||+3.353||54|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Haas-Ferrari VF-16||1:28.399||+3.460||31|
|11||Jolyon Palmer||Renault R.S.16||1:29.356||+4.417||37|
Photo Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1, Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1