Wehrlein tops rain-affected Austrian test

Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein set the pace during a first day of Formula 1 testing at the Red Bull Ring that was blighted by rain.

Wehrlein tops rain-affected Austrian test
The Ferrari SF15-T oaf Antonio Fuoco, Ferrari Test Driver is recovered back to the pits on the back of a truck
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Antonio Fuoco, Ferrari SF15-T Test Driver
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23 running sensor equipment
Antonio Fuoco, Ferrari SF15-T Test Driver
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Max Verstappen, Scuderia Toro Rosso
Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1 E23
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 Test Driver

With the exception of installation laps from Antonio Fuoco’s Ferrari and Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren, not a single car ran until gone 2pm local time, some five hours after the scheduled start time of the session.

Heavy rain all morning meant the red flags were shown for the bulk of it, with the teams agreeing to extend the session by two hours to make up for the lost time – although the rain also returned in the final 90 minutes.

By that stage, Wehrlein had set the best lap of the day with a 1m11.005s on super-softs behind the wheel of the Mercedes after a brief red flag interlude caused by a crash for Fuoco.

The Italian GP3 driver lost control of his Ferrari at the first corner shortly after setting his best time of the day – which was good enough to remain fourth quickest of all – spinning and hitting the barriers, bringing a premature halt to his first day in an F1 car.

Esteban Ocon was second quickest in the revised ‘B-spec’ Force India, less than two tenths shy of Wehrlein on a 1m11.192s and also on super-softs, with Max Verstappen third in the Toro Rosso having spent a large portion of the morning in command of the session when the track was still wet.

The Dutchman was also the most productive driver of the day, recording 97 laps, with Gasly recording the second most on 80.

Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Gasly and Raffaele Marciello (Sauber) were all within a second of Wehrlein’s pace, with eighth-placed Stoffel Vandoorne getting 76 laps under his belt in the troublesome McLaren-Honda, the joint-third most of anyone.

Susie Wolff completed the least running on just 39 laps in the Williams, the team opting to focus largely on short runs in its programme, with its FW37 sporting a new pair of winglets at the rear.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1:11.005
 
67
2 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes
1:11.192
+0.187 76
3 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault
1:11.328
+0.323 97
4 Antonio Fuoco Ferrari 1:11.331 +0.326 71
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes 1:11.509 +0.504 45
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Renault 1:11.757 +0.752 80
7 Raffaele Marciello Sauber-Ferrari 1:11.826 +0.821 53
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda 1:12.530 +1.525 76
9 Susie Wolff Williams-Mercedes 1:13.248 +2.243 39
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