By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
The much anticipated 2017 Formula One cars finally took to the track en masse today at Circuit de Bracelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Unsurprisingly Lewis Hamilton set the day’s fastest time with a solid 1:21.765 on the soft tires. Somewhat surprisingly, Sebastian Vettel nearly matched him with a 1:21.878 on the mediums! The Mercedes looks good, but Ferrari’s risky new design seems to work well. Both teams performed flawlessly and racked up the mileage. The Mercedes duo of Hamilton and newcomer Valtteri Bottas covered 152 laps for the silver arrows, while Vettel had the best tally of a single driving with 128.
Williams had a good day with the FW40, Felipe Massa set the day’s third best time of 1:22.076 as he covered 103 laps.
The day featured few incidents. Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen suffered a small crash in the morning session at turn 12, but rejoined the afternoon session and set the fourth fastest time of the day.
Daniel Ricciardo had a sensor fault in the Red Bull RB13 in the morning session and a battery issue in the afternoon session which limited his running, and allowed Red Bull only 50 laps on the day.
McLaren-Honda seems to have picked up where they left off and had a miserable first day of testing. An oil leak sidelined Fernando Alonso for most of the day as the team had to perform a lengthy power unit change on the bright orange MCL32. The Spaniard completed only 29 laps in front of his fans, the fewest of any driver on the day.
The full times and lap count are below.