Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has ended the first day of the post-Spanish Grand Prix test fastest with a lap faster than he could manage in Saturday’s qualifying session.
His time of 1:23.220 was a tenth of a second quicker than Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes and a further half a second quicker than McLaren’s Jenson Button. Both Vettel and Rosberg clocked up over 100 laps, with Rosberg amassing the highest lapping the circuit 119 times, followed by Esteban Ocon with 105 and Vettel’s 103.
After Button topped the morning session, Vettel and Rosberg switched to the super-soft tyre to run qualifying simulations, demoting the Briton down to third position.
Romain Grosjean was fourth for Haas and was the sole driver of the field to run the ultra-soft tyre, completing a total of 96 laps between both sessions.
Pascal Wehrlein finished the session in fifth position after trialling a variety of setups for future Grands Prix, and put in his best lap late in the session on a qualifying run on the super-soft tyre. He was a second off the pace and 0.010 seconds quicker than Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo set his best time on the soft compound tyre also in the afternoon session, registering a 1:24.307. The Australian now hands over the RB12 to his teammate Max Verstappen for tomorrow’s test.
Red Bull’s junior driver Pierre Gasly was over half a second down on Ricciardo’s time in seventh position in the Toro Rosso. Although, he was comfortably clear from Force India’s development driver Alfonso Celis Jr. who was 2.2 seconds off the pace in eighth position.
Alex Lynn came in ninth for Williams after spending the morning session testing various extra downforce components to simulate a higher load in preparation for 2017 regulations. The double decker rear wing was dropped for most of the afternoon session so Lynn could complete a more regular testing programme, although it did return with a short time left to run.
Ocon came in last on the timing sheets for Renault with a 1:26.530, a full 3.310 seconds off Vettel’s benchmark.
Image via XPB Images