Mercedes completed its planned programme on the first day of 2019 pre-season testing, gathering valuable aero and tyre data. Valtteri and Lewis took turns at the wheel of the team's 2019 challenger, accruing almost 700 kilometres at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Valtteri was the first behind the wheel in the morning session, focussing on gathering tyre and aerodynamic data. Lewis was driving the new car in the afternoon, collecting information on how the new car reacts to certain set-up changes.
Today's programme focused on improving the understanding of the new Pirelli tyres for the 2019 F1 season as well as gathering aerodynamic data. Mercedes-Benz Power Units today completed a total of 838km.
Tomorrow, Lewis will be behind the wheel of the W10 in the morning with Valtteri driving the new car in the afternoons session.
Valtteri Bottas: I quite enjoyed this morning, it's good to be back at the track. I did 69 laps and there were no major issues with the car, so it was a relatively successful run. Since the car is brand new, we immediately found ways to improve the balance and the behaviour and we will continue to work on that in the next days. It's good to see the car running well and it proves that the entire team is doing a great job, both in Brackley and Brixworth, but also here at the track. I'm looking forward to a more time in the car tomorrow afternoon.
Lewis Hamilton: It's good to be back in the car and it's great to see the car is running as smoothly at it is. It feels quite a bit different compared to last year and we're now getting to know it, trying to understand the balance and trying to understand the characteristics we're working with. It's been a positive first day, we got through our running plan and there's lots for us to learn about the new car which we will be working on.
James Allison: The first day with a new car is always a really exciting thing and today was not a bad start. Both drivers had their first taste of the W10 and got 150 trouble-free laps on the board by the end of the day. We managed to squeeze quite a lot in to this first day of running, finding out both how the 2019 tyres are working and also learning about the way the car responds to set-up changes. Today was not about absolute pace and we're reasonably pleased with the handling of the car and the way it is behaving.
At the wheel of the Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow SF90 today was Sebastian Vettel. The German completed a total of 169 laps, 72 in the morning and a further 97 in the afternoon. The first item on the agenda was a check of all the car systems, followed by a series of runs with the car in different configurations.
Programme completed. Sebastian was able to complete the planned programme for the day without any problems. He ran various tyre compounds in order to analyse the car's behaviour on each of them. His best time of 1:18.161 was set before the lunch break.
Sebastian Vettel: "The first impression from today is very good. I could not have hoped for a better day, as the car worked really well and we had no issues slowing us down. We completed the programme just the way we wanted. Coming here I was pretty open minded and had no expectations and I didn't need that much time to familiar with the car, as it was making everything quite straightforward for me.
"I must say I am still a bit rusty, as I haven't been driving for several months, but I'll sleep well tonight.
"It is too early to sum it up, as it's just the first day, but I would like to send my compliments to everyone back at the factory in Maranello for how they tackled all the new rules and what they put on track today and also how the team is handling the car in a well prepared way".
Charles next. The test session in Barcelona runs until Thursday. Tomorrow, Charles Leclerc will get behind the wheel of the SF90, before Vettel returns on Wednesday, with the Monegasque driver then rounding off the first of the two planned tests on Thursday.
Red Bull made a marathon start to the test, with Max Verstappen posting a total of 128 laps as the team's Honda-powered era got off to a positive start. As well as recording the second highest lap count of day one in Barcelona, Max logged the day's fourth fastest time, thanks to a late-afternoon lap of 1:19.426.
Max Verstappen: "To do 128 laps on the first day of testing is a really good day, so I'm very happy with that. We collected a lot of data, which is really important, and we'll analyse everything tonight to see what we can improve on tomorrow when Pierre is in the car. I'll also go into detail tonight and tomorrow to see where I can improve for my second day. So far, so good and I'm happy that we were able to do so many laps. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week."
Guillaume Rocquelin, Head of Race Engineering: "No major problems. We were a bit late getting out this morning due to a frustrating little niggle but we got that sorted out without any real fuss and once Max got into his stride, we enjoyed a very good first day. We put good mileage on the car, we got through the workload without issue, and though most teams aren't chasing lap time, Max put in a respectable lap. I would say that operationally, we are pretty well placed and everything is working as it should be on all sides. A solid start and a good platform for the rest of the week."
Renault began its preparations for the 2019 season with a productive first day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, accumulating 109 laps.
The team's main focus for day one was building mileage in the Renault R.S.19 and ensuring the various systems on the car were working as designed. Running went as planned with setups voluntarily consistent across tyres, engine and energy management.
Nico Hulkenberg took the wheel of the R.S.19 for the first time in the morning session with Daniel Ricciardo making his debut for the team in an official session during the afternoon.
Nico drove 65 laps in his morning stint posting a best time of 1min 20.980secs with a focus on reliability and predominantly longer-based runs. Daniel - who drove 21 laps (98km) on a promotional filming day on Saturday - extended his time in the R.S.19 with 44 laps in Monday's afternoon session, recording a 1min 20.983secs as his fastest time, as he continues to grow accustomed in new machinery.
Nico Hulkenberg: "It was fun and very enjoyable to be back driving a Formula 1 car. You forget how fast these cars are, especially Turns 3 and 9 around here, so it's great to be back driving again. My first impressions are promising, we didn't have too many problems this morning and that meant we were able to get a decent amount of laps in. We were looking to start on the right foot today so it's good to get 65 laps on the board and ease ourselves back in. We have things to assess and I'm looking forward to continuing the work over the next couple of days."
Daniel Ricciardo: "It's a good feeling to be behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car again after a long winter waiting. Today was about bedding ourselves back into it and, for me, continuing to learn about a new car and a new team. It was a decent afternoon and it's important we keep increasing our mileage. We have plenty to analyse but it's been a promising first official day. I'm excited to hit the track again and develop this new relationship."
Romain Grosjean commenced testing for Rich Energy Haas on a sun-kissed Monday at Circuit de Barcelona. The Frenchman exited the garage promptly at 9 a.m. local time as the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile) track opened for the day. By the time the checkered flag fell Grosjean had 65 laps recorded behind the wheel of the Ferrari-powered VF-19.
Grosjean's best time was a 1:19.159, earned on his 56th lap on a set of the yellow-walled C3 Pirelli tire compound. The time put Grosjean third among the 11 drivers participating in the first day of testing.
The day's early running was thwarted just 12 laps into the program due to a fuel pressure loss on the VF-19. An eventual return to the track in the final minutes of the morning session saw Grosjean add a further six laps to his tally before the mandatory lunch break.
The afternoon plan included four timed stints with Grosjean utilizing the C3 compound for a total of 40 laps, the last outing of the set delivering his fastest lap of the day. One final 7-lap run, to give the softer C4 tires a debut, took Grosjean to the end of the session.
Teammate Kevin Magnussen takes over the Haas VF-19 on Tuesday, with Grosjean and Pietro Fittipaldi splitting driving duties on Wednesday before Fittipaldi and Magnussen complete the first week of testing on Thursday.
Romain Grosjean: "I think we can be happy enough with our day, in terms of the car's feeling. We didn't have a smooth run in the morning, but saying that, the afternoon went better. We had lost a fair bit of track time, but we recovered to put in some good runs. The team's done a good job again to produce a car that's very nice to drive. There's more work to do obviously, we need to understand the car, but at the minute I'm very happy with what we've got."
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Rich Energy Haas F1 Team: "Not the best day today. In the morning we had an issue with the control of the fuel pumps, which forced us to stop out on the track. That lost us some time. We made some of that back up in the afternoon and got some running in. We can start to understand the car, but it's much too early to see how good we are."