F1 2017 testing: Barcelona Day 1

Formula One is all set to resume in Australia this March with a plethora of technical changes that have resulted in bigger, wider and louder cars! For the first time in Formula One history, FIA’s technical regulations have focused on making the cars faster in 2017. And from the first impression of cars hitting the track in Barcelona, one will not be disappointed with the new direction the sport has been reset to.

Here’s the summary from Test Day 1 in Barcelona

Morning

1. First ones to get down to business were Mercedes and Ferrari on the opening morning of the first test. While Ferrari had Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel for Day 1, Mercedes decided to go for a split with their drivers which saw their new addition Valtteri Bottas test the new W08. Alternating for the top spot, Vettel and Bottas ran short medium tire stints.

2. Right behind the silver arrows and Ferrari was Sergio Perez in the Force India who went out for a short soft tire stint right before Vettel topped the charts with his medium pair.

3. Formula One’s new team Haas’ second racing season was not the best after Kevin Magnussen pulled up at the end of the pitlane in the opening hours and later crashed into the barriers of T10.

4. Major news broke out from Barcelona after Daniel Ricciardo’s RB13 stopped on track at T4, bringing out the first red flag of the day. Red Bull later confirmed that Ricciardo’s car had suffered a sensor issue which saw the Australian sit out for half the day.

5. Things were not too bright in the McLaren-Honda garage either with Fernando Alonso completing only an installation lap in the finely redesigned MCL32 before being consigned. The issue was identified to be an oil system and would take “several hours” to fix due to the inaccessibility of Honda’s tightly packaged power unit.

Afternoon

1. With a switchover from Bottas to 2016 Vice Champion Lewis Hamilton, who edged Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, Mercedes have become the team with the highest mileage so far completing 152 laps in total. Hamilton’s blitz lap, which is quicker than last year’s pole time at the Spanish Grand Prix, was set on soft tires. Hamilton later confirmed that the cars were not only heavier and difficult to follow through, but also commented on the lesser-degrading Pirelli tires.

2. Sebastian Vettel is one of the 2 drivers to reach the 100 lap mark, completing 128 in the new Ferrari. Although the Scuderia have placed a media blackout until the end of testing, their enhanced reliability is very much noted. Vettel’s fastest time was set on the medium Pirelli P-Zero tires, trailing Hamilton only by a tenth.

3. Massa’s return to Formula One, after a retirement period of 5 days, was well rewarded with a very reliable Mercedes engine in the Williams. The Brazilian completed 103 laps.

4. With Ricciardo’s morning made stagnant with battery and sensor woes on the RB13, he recovered in the afternoon and completed a total of 50 laps by the end of the day.

5. McLaren Honda salvaged the rest of the day with a car that could help Alonso complete 29 laps before suffering an engine shutdown with 1 and a half hours remaining. The 2-time world champion set a lap time of 1:24:8, which is 3 seconds slower than the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. This may not be the most accurate representation of McLaren Honda’s gains over the Winter.

More to follow on Day 2.

This post originally appeared in KartstoCarz

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