McLaren rookie Lando Norris went quickest on the opening day of the second F1 pre-season test of 2019, despite twice stopping on track during the session.
Norris first brought out the red flag with a little over 90 minutes left in the morning session when his McLaren was halted with what was later reported as a loss of hydraulic pressure.
The British driver, who had completed 38 laps to that point, missed the remainder of the morning session but returned to the action after lunch.
Late in the afternoon the McLaren driver bolted on a set of the softest C5 Pirelli tyres and jumped to the top of the timesheet edging Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly by 0.006 seconds. Then, with a little over 20 minutes left on the clock, Norris stopped for a second time, bringing out the red flags again.
While Norris’ benchmark time was set on the C5 compound, Gasly’s P2 time of 1:17.715 was recorded on the C3 time early in the afternoon. The lap was over a second quicker than any time set by the Honda-powered team during the first test.
The Frenchman, who topped the single-driver lap count with 136 laps, had also held sway for a long period in the morning too, only being denied top spot at the half way mark by a late improvement from Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian driver thus led the way at the lunch break with a time of 1:18.589.
Third place at the end of the session was taken by Lance Stroll. Like Norris, the Racing Point driver set his best time on the C5 Pirelli tyre to finish just over a tenth behind Norris’ time. Stroll also recorded 82 laps during his day at the wheel.
Ferrari split its driving duties on day one of the test with Charles Leclerc driving in the morning. The Monegasque driver spent little time on track, however, posting just 28 laps as his team checked his SF90’s cooling system.
Sebastian Vettel took over in the afternoon for the Scuderia and ended the day with the fourth quickest lap, a 1:17.925 set on C3 tyres as he focused on long runs. He ended the day with 81 laps to his name.
The afternoon improvements left Giovinazzi in fifth place at the flag and the Alfa driver finished six hundredths of a second ahead of Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon who used the C4 tyre for his best lap.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen took eighth place on the timesheet ahead of Williams’ George Russell. The F2 champion set a best time of 1:19.662s on the C5 compound and put a solid 119 laps on the board for the struggling team.
The top 10 was rounded out by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo who took over from 13th-placed team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in the afternoon. Between them, the Renault pair posted a total of 157 laps.
Splitting the Renault’s were the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton got through 83 trouble-free laps in the morning as he concentrated on long runs but in the afternoon Bottas hit trouble. The Finn stopped on his out lap with an oil pressure problem. Mercedes undertook a precautionary engine change and the work restricted Bottas to the garage until late in the day when he completed a further six laps.
2019 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test 2, Day 1
1 Lando Norris McLaren 1:17.709s 80
2 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1:17.715s +0.006 136
3 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:17.824s +0.115 82
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:17.925s +0.216 81
5 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:18.589s +0.880 99
6 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1:18.649s +0.940 103
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:18.651s +0.942 29
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:18.769s +1.060 130
9 George Russell Williams 1:19.662s +1.953 119
10 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:20.107s +2.398 77
11 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.167s +2.458 7
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.332s +2.623 83
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:20.348s +2.639 80