There are cars on track and now it really feels like the 2017 season is right around the corner, but what have we actually learned from the first day of testing? Whilst the day will have bene valuable for the teams trying to understand the new tyres and what exactly their fins and wings are doing at speed, the test sessions won’t really tell the outside world much of what to expect this season. Mercedes, naturally, topped the timing screen and, between their two drivers, completed the most laps, with Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel coming in second on both times and lap numbers, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. One thing we did learn today is how the fins look at speed. According to those at the track, very wobbly. Williams were testing the t-wing we saw on the Mercedes last week, as well as the Finn, and both seemed to be very unstable. Those at the track have suggested other teams had similar problems. That will be something the teams want to get sorted out for two reasons. The first, more obvious, is that wobbly fins don’t really do the jobs they’re supposed to. The second is that, if they move around a lot, they may not be classed as a “stable aerodynamic device” which could be considered illegal. Mercedes, naturally, might have a fix for that. When Lewis Hamilton jumped in the car in the afternoon, there was an interesting fin stuck on the back of it. The fin was smaller than other teams and had an opening at the top. It’s understood to be an exit duct for hot air, but it also makes the fin stronger and more stable. So, not only were they topping the times, they also seem to have solved a problem other teams are still scratching their heads over. Red Bull are favourites to bring the fight to Mercedes, but they didn’t really seem to be in a position to do that today. The morning session to was red flagged when Daniel Ricciardo stopped in the first sector due to a sensor issue. The car was able to get back on track and the Australian got some decent running in before a battery issue halted the team’s afternoon running. Ricciardo finished the day fifth in the timings after 50 laps. Red Bull weren’t the only team with problems and, after two years of trouble, the fact McLaren didn’t get a smooth day probably won’ come as a surprise for many. Alonso managed a single lap in the morning, but an oil system issue confined him to the garage for the rest of the session. In the afternoon, much to the delight of the fans gathered to watch the session, Alonso headed back out, only to return to the pit lane at a “crawling pace” two minutes later. The Spaniard did eventually manage to get back out, completing just under 30 laps by the end of the day. Each team will be focusing on their own checklist this week, most of them wanting to see just how their new aero gadgets work in real life and what the 2017 tyres are like, so we can’t read too much into lap times and we won’t really have a clear idea of the order until the end of the Melbourne GP. For more thoughts on Formula One and the latest news, head to the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment. What do you think of the Mercedes fin (the aero device, not the driver)? Do you think McLaren Honda will be able to resolve their issues before the first race? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.