The first day of Formula 1’s pre-season testing in Barcelona ended with McLaren’s young star, Lando Norris, at the top of the time sheets.
The Brit posted a lap of 1’19.568 in the afternoon session, more than half a second quicker than the Ferrari’s of Charles LeClerc and Carlos Sainz. LeClerc topped the morning session with what would be his fastest run of the day at 1’20.165, showing strong form for the Prancing Horse as they look to compete for the title in 2022.
Norris was the only driver in today’s session to break the 1’20 mark, posting a 1’19.568 during the mid-afternoon and was one of four drivers who posted over 100 laps of running throughout the day.
Ferrari would take the mantle of total distance covered as both drivers took part in the morning and afternoon sessions as LeClerc and Sainz combined to run the all-new Ferrari F1-75 a total of 151 laps. However it was reigning champion Max Verstappen who led all drivers, covering 147 lap and setting the ninth-fastest time of the day at 1’22.246.
The Red Bull driver unveiled the RB18 with a revised sidepod design, a radical departure from the launch model that was shown just days before, cementing team boss Christian Horner’s state that the car we saw at the launch would not be the care we saw during testing.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell of Mercedes clocked the forth and fifth fasted times of the day in their W13 challenger, covering 50 and 77 laps during the day that saw the young star Russell ending a tenth quicker than his seven-time champion teammate.
Russell’s former team, Williams F1, posted the eleventh and fourteenth quickest times with Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi, the former spending his first test in an F1 car since leaving the grid in 2020 as he was replaced by Sergio Perez at Red Bull.
Further down the time sheets Alfa Romeo had a day to forget as they only managed to cover 32 laps between Valtteri Bottas and reserve-driver Robert Kubica; while the HAAS of Mick Schumacher was delayed after damage to the floor of the VF-22 was discovered and subsequently repaired, allowing him to set the twelfth fastest time of the 16 drivers today.
2022 pre-season testing day one times:
|3||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Ferrari||1’20.416||0.848||73|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1’21.276||1.708||52|
|9||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1’22.246||2.678||147|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1’22.572||3.004||23|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1’23.327||3.759||67|