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Vettel leads opening day of 2019 F1 testing

Vettel leads opening day of 2019 F1 testing
Feb 18, 2019, 5:11 PM

Sebastian Vettel continued Ferrari's strong opening day of Formula 1 testing in Barcelona, finishing on top of the times.

Vettel had set a 1m18.161s in the morning session on the 'C3' tyres, 1.783 seconds quicker than his nearest rival Sergio Perez in the Racing Point car.

While he didn't improve his laptime in the afternoon, Vettel increased his lap count to 169 by the end of the day, which was enough to head the mileage rankings as well, although his margin over the field was reduced.

Romain Grosjean decreased Vettel's advantage at the top to under a second, with a late lap on the C3 tyre within the last half-hour snatching second spot from Carlos Sainz.

However, McLaren driver Sainz stole it back with a 1m18.558s to trail Vettel by just 0.397s.

Sainz had helped to bring out the first red flag of the afternoon when he stopped at the exit of the pitlane at the beginning of the running. He blamed a loss of power for the issue, and the car appeared to run smoothly thereafter.

Grosjean had to settle for the third-fastest time, but Haas had a much better afternoon. Grosjean's car had ground to a halt entering the final chicane with fuel pressure issues earlier in the day.

Red Bull-Honda's Max Verstappen managed to net 128 laps and set the fourth-fastest time behind Vettel, Sainz and Grosjean.

Kimi Raikkonen kept Alfa Romeo in the top five, after setting the fourth fastest time earlier on in the day. He ran C2 and C3 tyres and had been as high as second on the timing screens, but was shuffled back later in the afternoon.

Alfa Romeo was still one of the teams to log more than 100 laps, despite Raikkonen's visit to the gravel bringing out the first red flag of the morning session. His car stopped again with just over a minute left in the afternoon session, causing another red flag.

The Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat and Perez took the sixth and seventh fastest times respectively, but both teams would likely have wanted more running.

Kvyat needed to bolt the C4 tyre on to set his best time, while Perez only added 10 laps to the 20 he completed in the morning, with his team finishing bottom of the laps-completed order.

After taking over the Mercedes in the afternoon, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton didn't beat Valtteri Bottas's eighth place in the order by the end of the day, but he did complete more laps with 81.

Behind the pair of Mercedes, Renault had a disappointing day in terms of times as its drivers rounded out the order.

New Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo took over from Nico Hulkenberg for the afternoon, but missed out on beating Hulkenberg by 0.003s. He also completed 21 fewer laps than the German driver.

Testing times, Day 1:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m18.161s   169
2 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1m18.558s +0.397 119
3 Romain Grosjean Haas 1m19.159s +0.998 65
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m19.426s +1.265 124
5 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1m19.462s +1.301 114
6 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m19.635s +1.474 77
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1m19.944s +1.783 30
8 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m20.127s +1.966 69
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m20.135s +1.974 81
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m20.980s +2.819 64
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m20.983s +2.822 44
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing
Author Jack Benyon