Barcelona F1 test: Vettel quickest as Mercedes racks up miles

Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari on top of the times on the opening day of pre-season Formula 1 testing at the Barcelona circuit on Monday.

The German was the only driver to lap the Spanish circuit in the 1m24s as he covered 69 laps for the Maranello squad with its new SF16-H car.

World champion Lewis Hamilton was by far the busiest man on track today, the Mercedes driver completing over 150 trouble-free laps on his way to the second fastest time of the day, nearly half a second off Vettel's pace.

Both men set their fastest times with Pirelli's medium tyres.

Daniel Ricciardo finished in third in the Red Bull RB12, which enjoyed a solid first outing despite a slow start to the day. The Australian covered over 80 laps and finished more than a second behind Vettel.

Valtteri Bottas in the Williams and Force India development driver Alfonso Celis completed the top five, the Mexican jumping up the timesheets thanks to a late run on soft tyres.

After a slow start to the day, Jenson Button managed a solid day of work in the new McLaren, covering 83 laps on his way to the sixth quickest time of the day.

The Briton, however, set his time on soft tyres.

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz was seventh fastest, but his day came to an early finish as the team found something strange in the gearbox oil system and decided to stop as a precaution.

Marcus Ericsson was the only man at the wheel of a 2015 car, putting the Sauber eighth in the timesheets, ahead of the Manor of Pascal Wehrlein, who ended up with 54 laps in his first outing with the team.

The new Haas team had a shortened first day of work on track after Romain Grosjean's car suffered a front wing failure that kept him in the garage for several hours before he managed to return to the circuit with an hour left on the clock.

The Frenchman, who caused the only red flag of the day while the debris was picked up, still managed to outpace the Renault of Jolyon Palmer, who also spent a big part of the day in the garage.

  S. Vettel Ferrari 1:24.939 69
  L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.409 156
3   D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:26.044 87
4   V. Bottas Williams 1:26.091 80
  A. Celis Jr Force India 1:26.298 58
6   J. Button McLaren 1:26.735 84
  C. Sainz Toro Rosso 1:27.180 55
  M. Ericsson Sauber 1:27.555 88
  P. Wehrlein Manor 1:28.292 54
10    R. Grosjean Haas 1:28.399 31
11    J. Palmer Renault 1:29.356 37



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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes
Article type Testing report