Daniel Ricciardo kickstarted the Formula 1 pre-season testing period by topping the timesheets and mileage charts on the opening day of action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver moved to the top of the time sheets before the lunch break and remained on top for the rest of an extremely chilly day.
While the time sheet results will prove relatively meaningless as each team runs varying tyre compounds, fuel loads and development parts, the Australian will take significant comfort in the reliability of his Renault-powered RB14 chassis, now running in its customary matte livery scheme.
With 105 laps completed by day’s end, Ricciardo finished less than two-tenths of a second clear of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas – similarly shod on Medium tyres – who ran in the morning before handing over the controls to teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen was third-quickest with his best time coming on Pirelli’s soft compound tyres.
The works Renault team also showed strong reliability, with the RS18 completing 99 laps by day’s end as the team split its running between Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Despite an off-season change of engine partner, McLaren didn’t get the track mileage it needed on its opening day thanks to a loose wheelnut that pitched Fernando Alonso into a high-speed spin at the final corner. The Spaniard lost three hours of morning running while his MCL33 was cleaned up before going on to post the seventh-fastest time of the day.
Ironically, Honda’s switch to Toro Rosso brought about seemingly improved mileage on the STR13’s first day of proper running. With Brendon Hartley behind the wheel, the car managed a hugely impressive 93 laps by the end of the day.
Lance Stroll (Williams) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) finished ninth and tenth on the timesheets respectively, with Grosjean’s best time of the day coming in the afternoon session before a late rain shower hit the circuit. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was tenth-fastest, clocking up almost a complete race distance in the Alfa Romeo-liveried C37.
It was an all-Russian affair at the bottom of the timesheets. Force India test driver Nikita Mazepin substituted for an unwell Nicholas Latifi and managed 22 laps in the new VJM11 before he ruined its eye-catching paint scheme with a spin caused by overheating brakes.
His countryman, Sergey Sirotkin, took over from Stroll in the Williams Mercedes, but the F1 rookie did not post a representative time.
|2018 FORMULA 1 PRE-SEASON TEST – DAY 1 UNOFFICIAL TIMES|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Daniel Ricciardo||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB14||1:20.179||105|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09||1:20.349||+ 0.170||58|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF71H||1:20.506||+ 0.327||80|
|4.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS18||1:20.547||+ 0.368||73|
|5.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Renault Sport F1 Team RS18||1:22.168||+ 1.989||26|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport F1W09||1:22.327||+ 2.148||25|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren F1 Team Renault MCL33||1:22.354||+ 2.175||51|
|8.||Brendon Hartley||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda STR13||1:22.371||+ 2.192||93|
|9.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41||1:22.452||+ 2.273||46|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-18||1:22.578||+ 2.399||55|
|11.||Marcus Ericsson||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C37||1:23.408||+ 3.229||63|
|12.||Nikita Mazepin||Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM11||1:25.628||+ 5.449||22|
|13.||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW41||1:44.148||+ 23.969||28|
Image via Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
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