The team have revealed their 2019 cars and their line-ups and now it’s time that the class of 2019 hit the track at Barcelona for the 1st of two tests. Who will hit the ground running and will anyone encounter problems?
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ends the first day of Pre-Season Testing on top after a successful return to the cockpit of the SF90. The German was one of two drivers setting a lap time under 79, the other being McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, and completing the most laps. McLaren’s Sainz was a shock 2nd but the MCL34 lost drive and had to be pushed back to the pits. Haas’s Romain Grosjean was 4th while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen enjoyed a trouble-free day whilst running the Honda power units and completing 128 laps. In the hands of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas, Mercedes racked up 150 laps but didn’t focus on lap times and ended up in 8th and 9th. Williams were the only team not to take part and hope to take to the track on Wednesday.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top following his team-mate’s pace yesterday. Leclerc, completed the most laps, 157, and focused on long-run pace to end a brilliant day for the Monegasque. McLaren’s Lando Norris also emulated his team-mate’s pace from yesterday by finishing 2nd and completing just over 100 laps. It was also another positive day for Haas with Kevin Magnussen finishing in 3rd. After an early spin, Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon finished 4th and completed 132 – more encouragement for Honda. Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly ended the day in the barriers at turn 13, causing damage to the rear wing while Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo lost a part of his rear wing but unlike Gasly, he was lucky to avoid the barriers. Mercedes once again split their driving duties between Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton and both completed 89 and 74 laps each.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat ended Ferrari’s dominance at the top of the time-sheets. The returning Russian knocked Alfa Romeo’s long-standing time set by 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen off the top-step, who settled for 2nd. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo finished 3rd posting Renault’s quickest time of the test so far. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen rounded out the top 5. The biggest story of the day was that Williams were able to get their FW42 on track at the hands of F2 Champion George Russell who managed 23 laps. Haas caused 3 red flags throughout the day in which interrupted Pietro Fittipaldi’s and Romain Grosjean’s day. Mercedes split duties between Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton with Bottas saying that Ferrari look very, very strong but that he’s not worried by their pace.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg ends the final day of Test 1 quickest and set the quickest time seen so far: 1m 17.393s. It wasn’t all positive for the German who only managed 24 laps due to an undiagnosed issue on his R.S.19 in the afternoon. Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon and the other Renault of Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 3. Mercedes started to crank up the engine with Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in 4th and 5th and managing nearly 60 laps each. Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi completed the most laps on 154 but brought out the red flags twice in the closing minutes of the session when his C38 stopped on track. Williams, split duties between Robert Kubica and George Russell and managed 65 laps between them. Kubica, suffered 2 spins and slightly blocked Hamilton and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.
Conclusions from Test 1
It’s easy to jump to conclusions after just one test but it looks like Ferrari have the upper-hand. Initial reports suggest that the gap from Ferrari to Mercedes is 0.5s (half a second). Now, that is a big gap but it is early doors and Mercedes did not focus on raw speed, more on reliability in which reigning Champion Lewis Hamilton completed 307 laps.
Red Bull still look to be the third best team in what was a successful first test for the team. Red Bull, who are in the first year of their partnership with Honda, completed 468 laps between Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly.
The mid-field look to be getting ever closer and it’s difficult to tell who’s leading it. Renault, McLaren, Haas, Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo look to be very close with Racing Point lagging a bit with Williams lagging even further behind.
Laps per Engine Supplier
- Ferrari, 1345 Laps (Ferrari, Haas & Alfa Romeo)
- Renault, 947 Laps (Renault & McLaren)
- Mercedes, 941 Laps (Mercedes, Williams & Racing Point)
- Honda, 871 Laps (Toro Rosso & Red Bull)
Laps per Team
- Mercedes, 606 Laps, (Hamilton & Bottas)
- Ferrari, 594, Laps, (Vettel & Leclerc)
- Alfa Romeo, 499 Laps, (Raikkonen & Giovinazzi)
- Toro Rosso, 497 Laps, (Kvyat & Albon)
- Red Bull, 468 Laps, (Verstappen & Gasly)
- McLaren, 440 Laps, (Sainz Jr & Norris)
- Renault, 431 Laps, (Ricciardo & Hulkenberg)
- Haas, 379 Laps, (Magnussen, Grosjean & Fittipaldi)
- Racing Point, 248 Laps, (Perez & Stroll)
- Williams, 87 Laps, (Russell & Kubica)