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Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 on first day of testing

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Feb 19, 2020, 5:03 PM

Lewis Hamilton led Mercedes to a one-two finish on the opening day of 2020 Formula 1 pre-season testing, topping the timesheets ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

After seeing Bottas set the pace in the new Mercedes W11 car through the morning session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, reigning world champion Hamilton took over for the afternoon, completing 94 laps.

Hamilton managed to beat Bottas's time within the first 90 minutes of the four-hour session, and improved further to end the day with a best lap of 1m16.976s, set on the C2 compound tyre.

The lap saw Hamilton finish three tenths of a second clear of Bottas in the final standings. The Finn racked up 79 laps through the morning session, with his fastest effort coming on the C3 tyre.

Sergio Perez finished an impressive third for Racing Point as the team broke cover with its new RP20 car, notable for its similarities to Mercedes's 2019-spec car.

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Perez lapped within four tenths of a second of Hamilton on the C3 tyre, completing 58 laps before handing over to teammate Lance Stroll for the afternoon. Stroll ended the day 10th fastest on 52 laps.

Max Verstappen finished fourth for Red Bull, half a second off Hamilton's benchmark time, but suffered two spins through the day in the final sector.

They proved to be the most notable on-track incidents during a quiet day of uninterrupted running, as all teams managed to complete over 100 laps thanks to a lack of red flags or stoppages.

Ferrari finished the day down in 11th with Charles Leclerc, who deputised for the unwell Sebastian Vettel on the opening day.

Leclerc completed over two race distances despite being kept in the garage for over an hour at the start of the afternoon session, finishing the day 1.3 seconds shy of Hamilton.

Daniil Kvyat took fifth place for AlphaTauri ahead of McLaren's Carlos Sainz, with both setting their fastest time on the C2 compound.

Renault split running between Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon on Wednesday, finishing seventh and eighth respectively. Ricciardo was able to beat Ocon's time by 0.131s in the afternoon.

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George Russell ended a solid first day of testing for Williams in ninth place, having completed 73 laps through the morning.

In a far cry from 2019 when the team missed the first two-and-a-half days of testing due to delays with the car build, Russell finished 1.1 seconds behind Hamilton, and reported the new FW43 was already "much better" to drive. 

Nicholas Latifi took over from Russell in the afternoon, finishing two-tenths of a second off his teammate in P12.

Robert Kubica ended the day 13th during his maiden outing as Alfa Romeo's reserve driver, completing 59 laps through the morning. Teammate Antonio Giovinazzi propped up the timesheets in 15th place, the pair split by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

Testing resumes at 9am local time on Thursday in Barcelona.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps Tyre
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.976s   94 C2
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m17.313s +0.337s 79 C3
3 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1m17.375s +0.399s 58 C3
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m17.516s +0.540s 167 C3
5 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri 1m17.698s +0.722s 115 C2
6 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1m17.842s +0.866s 161 C3
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m17.873s +0.897s 54 C2
8 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m18.004s +1.028s 62 C3
9 George Russell Williams 1m18.168s +1.192s 73 C3
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1m18.282s +1.306s 50 C2
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m18.289s +1.313s 131 C3
12 Nicolas Latifi Williams 1m18.382s +1.406s 63 C3
13 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo 1m18.386s +1.410s 59 C3
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1m18.466s +1.490s 103 C3
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1m20.096s +3.120s 78 C3
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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Barcelona February testing I
Author Luke Smith