Lando Norris was fastest by half a second on day one of 2022 Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona, thanks to late runs on softer tyres by Lando Norris.
We have now seen all 10 teams out on track with thousands upon thousands of miles covered by 15 of the sport’s 20 drivers, verdict for the first day of testing in Barcelona?
The opening day of Formula 1’s new era is over as the sun sets on day one of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
All 10 teams put their cars out on track for their rivals to see with 15 of the sport’s 20 drivers.
It has been a fine first day of the pre-season for Max Verstappen and Red Bull, both for preserving their design secrets and extracting the absolute most from them over the course of the day.
No driver completed more laps on Wednesday than the 2021 World Champion (147) but it was the striking new design of his RB18 that had tongues wagging in the paddock during the morning session.
The Red Bull car was nothing at all like the one that was unveiled to fans earlier this month, taking on an aggressive new sidepod design amongst a list of other interesting technical concepts.
It remains a mystery how the Milton Keynes-based team, led by Christian Horner, were able to keep their 2022 car under-wraps, despite having already taken it for a spin during a filming day at Silverstone.
As for the pace of the new RB18, it placed in the middle of the pack, but little can be learned from one-lap pace on day one.
It can never be a bad thing to end the day at the very top of the timing charts – and that is where Lando Norris left his McLaren MCL36.
The talented youngster, now into his fourth pre-season as an F1 driver, counted 103 laps as he pulled into the pits at the end of the day to see that he had set the two fastest times of the test so far.
He became the first driver to dip into the 1m19s late in the day before smashing his own time by close to half a second in the final moments, putting in a 1:19.568.
McLaren’s pace will not go unnoticed and their opening day went off without a hitch (a brief stoppage in the pit lane aside).
Others F1 teams
There were fears amongst the big teams heading into the new era of F1 that the sport’s technical regulations overhaul could bring a Brawn GP-style fairytale, with a backmarker interpreting the rules expertly to bypass their big-money competition.
After day one of testing in Barcelona, it looks like it is in fact F1’s biggest teams that have the best handle on their cars.
McLaren appeared both quick and reliable, while Ferrari were able to complete more laps than any other team as their drivers placed second and third on the timesheets.
Mercedes also enjoyed a problem-free day with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton winding up fourth and fifth respectively, after completing a combined 127 laps.
And an honourable mention must go to Williams which, after many a painful pre-season, completed a not-to-be-scoffed-at 137 laps on track, more than Mercedes, Alpha Tauri, Aston Martin and McLaren.
first day of f1 2022 testing first day of f1 2022 testing
|2023 F1 Car Launches|
|Red Bull||RB19||03 February|
|Alfa Romeo||C43||07 February|
|Aston Martin||AMR23||13 February|
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