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F1 Pre-Season Testing Day 1 - First Blood Red Bull

F1 Pre Season Testing Day 1 - 1.jpg

Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo ending a cold and wet opening day of Formula One 2018 with fastest time of all - but are the times representative of the new F1 running order?

Ricciardo and Red Bull would go fastest of all before the rain came down in Barcelona to mark an impressive debut for the new Renault powered car, adding further expectation to the Milton Keynes based outfit as the Australian was the only driver to break the 100 lap barrier today, a stark contrast to the troubled opening day of running for the former champions this time last year.

F1 Pre Season Testing Day 1 - 5.jpg


Speaking of former champions, it would be an interesting day for fellow Renault powered outfit McLaren, with star driver Fernando Alonso managing to complete a reasonable afternoon of running despite missing much of the morning thanks to an errant wheel detaching itself and leaving the Spaniard stranded in the gravel at the final turn. Overcoming this setback somewhat in the afternoon, Alonso and McLaren would recover to fifth overall with 51 laps, a reasonable start to the new look partnership in 2018.

F1 Pre Season Testing Day 1 - 6.jpg


One of the largest surprises of the day would perhaps come from Toro Rosso, having a trouble free day of running with the new Honda PU strapped to Brandon Hartley and his STR13, managing 93 laps as the Kiwi wound out the day in eighth overall on the timesheets, despite claims from the team that outright performance was not on the agenda for the small Italian outfit during the opening day of testing.

F1 Pre Season Testing Day 1 - 3.jpg


Representing the reigning World Champions in Barcelona would be both Valtteri Bottas (AM), and Lewis Hamilton (PM) in the new W09 Mercedes, both drivers looking to get some early laps in the new Silver Arrow as team and driver look to make a strong start to the 2017 title defence. Bottas would open the running in the morning session, completing 58 laps before handing over to four time World Champion Hamilton after the break. Hamilton would be disrupted in his programme thanks to a downpour late in the afternoon, completing just 25 laps on his way to seventh overall.

Despite a largely uninterrupted day of running for the Grand Prix teams, the overall pace would still have some way to go to match that of 2017 after the opening round of activity. With potentially warmer weather in the days ahead, and a newly surfaced Barcelona circuit since February last year, expect the times to tumble as teams continue to feel their way into Formula One 2018 style...

F1 Testing Times - Day 1.jpg


If you like your motorsport fast and open wheeled, check out the Formula One sub forum and get yourself in on the discussion today!

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Looking forward to F1 2018? Do you think Red Bull have what it takes to fight for the title this year? Let us know in the comments section below!
 
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Yes, it's Day One, but....

1) All three Renault-powered cars are in the Top 5.
2) Swap Force India and McLaren, and the running order already looks similar to a 2017 race.
3) Honda and Renault perhaps have found a remedy to the reliability issues.
 
Please for racing god sake be a 4 manufacturer race for the championship, i'm sick of Mercedes/Ferrari fight, i mean last year fight was good but it's so boring to see the same team on the top.
 
2) Swap Force India and McLaren, and the running order already looks similar to a 2017 race.
which already makes a huge difference. and I hope we get some surprises from Toro Rosso-Honda along the year.

also, without Massa or other experienced driver, I expect to see Williams even further down the field.
 

BhZ

Simdriver for Singularity Racing
Renault engine seems to be improved. I hope that is really the case as the season would be fantastic with three competitive engines!
Mercedes has said they are very close to an engine with 1000hp and Chris Horner said that if this is true, Renault is even farther than last year.
 
Mercedes has said they are very close to an engine with 1000hp and Chris Horner said that if this is true, Renault is even farther than last year.
Yep, Renault recently said that their work on the initial spec 2018 engine has been almost entirely focused on reliability and they'll try to add performance upgrades later in the year with the second spec. Red Bull were not pleased with that
 

BhZ

Simdriver for Singularity Racing
Yep, Renault recently said that their work on the initial spec 2018 engine has been almost entirely focused on reliability and they'll try to add performance upgrades later in the year with the second spec. Red Bull were not pleased with that
Exactly and Honda has done the same, so Toro Rosso won't be competitive anytime soon.
 
Waaaaay too early to start calling out who's quick and who's not. All times were ballpark except for one notable exception. i can only think that Williams would't let him go higher than 4th gear.
 
Waaaaay too early to start calling out who's quick and who's not. All times were ballpark except for one notable exception. i can only think that Williams would't let him go higher than 4th gear.
Sometimes teams do a constant speed test, albeit very low speed. Can't imagine why the driver would do that instead of the reserve.
 
Jeez...the times are so useless unless the circumstances under which times have been driven are explained....and even then.
 
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