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."
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 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."
Daniil Kvyat: "It was a productive day today and it's good to be back behind the wheel. We managed to do quite a few laps, which is important on the first day of testing to get some mileage under your belt so you can see how the car behaves. It's too early to draw conclusions, but I think we have a good baseline for now and we need to keep working on that. Every time we were on track it was smooth running, and everyone was operating at a high level. I have another three days in the car which gives us the chance to improve on the things we worked on today, so we will look over the data to see which direction we will take on Wednesday. I worked with my new engineers and we all understood each other well straight away. It was certainly a good start."
Jody Egginton (Deputy Technical Director): "It is good to get back to the serious business of testing and start to understand our new car. We end today having started down the road of achieving this and as always we are starting to answer questions but also generating new ones at a similar rate! With the cold conditions early on, we worked through a programme of some basic tests before moving to longer runs as the morning progressed. In the afternoon, we also conducted a series of longer runs that has allowed us to get our first view of the chassis, PU, and tyres over longer runs in reasonably stable track conditions. In this respect, I think it's been quite a good day, although we have lost some time in the garage with a number of small niggles which means we have a few tests and test items to carry over into Day 2. On the PU side, it's been a smooth test today with the Honda guys working through their program in a systematic fashion so, in this respect, it's business as normal. It's Day 1 of the 8-Day winter test program and there are still many experiments to conduct, new parts to evaluate and boxes to tick before Melbourne. We will stay focused on the task in hand with Alex stepping into the car for what will be his first full day of testing in a F1 car, and we are confident of making more progress with STR14, and Alex, tomorrow."
Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): "Today we carried out basic function checks on the 2019 specification PU, with both our teams. It was a trouble-free day on the PU side, which is a positive start to the test. As this is our second year with Toro Rosso, we have further developed our working methods together and we can expect to operate at a higher level this season. We hope to continue this good momentum over the remaining seven days of testing."
Sergio Perez: "It was a typical first day of testing, with a lot of checks and not a lot of running. It was effectively our shakedown and, even though the day was a bit shorter than expected, I felt quite happy with the car straight away. The mileage wasn't great but I think it was still a promising start. I am happy with the performance we managed to get out of the car and with its balance. The conditions weren't great: the track was quite cold and green to begin with, but I end the first day feeling positive. It was important to start understanding the car as much as we could and for me to make myself comfortable with it as a driver."
Tom McCullough, Performance Engineering Director: "It's always exciting when the car finally takes to the track for the first day of testing. Today was basically our shakedown and the first opportunity to check installation of all the new parts and various systems. We had some teething problems, which caused us some downtime across the day, and a small oil leak, but nothing overly concerning. Sergio was very upbeat about the initial feeling from the car and the baseline set-up so that's really encouraging feedback. Tomorrow Lance will get his first experience of the new car with the focus on aero data collection and adding more miles to the car."
It was a solid first day of pre-season testing in the McLaren MCL34 for Carlos Sainz, who completed 119 laps. The MCL34 was the first of the nine cars on track as it opened at 09:00 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The team completed the necessary installation and systems checks in quick succession, before moving on to aero correlation and data capture.
Shortly after lunch, Carlos stopped briefly out on track after reporting a loss of drive, but the issue – a loose cable – was quickly rectified and he returned to the track to continue his testing programme.
The team completed the scheduled items on its run plan for the day, and will de-brief overnight before handing the reins to Lando Norris tomorrow morning.
Carlos Sainz: "It looks like our hard work has paid off today. It's been a very positive start as we've been able to run without big issues, play a bit with the set-up of the car and gather data to analyse. Good job everyone, because 119 laps on the first day is a good step.
"There's still a lot of margin to improve the car. Following today's work, we know more clearly the direction we want to try. Now we have the information for a strong de-brief, so we will keep working and moving forward."
Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "Today was a positive day, where we completed nearly every test we had planned, and had very few issues to contend with.
"Carlos is acclimatising well to the team. Bearing in mind that this is his first official day of 2019 as a McLaren driver, having a high-mileage, trouble-free run is a very satisfying outcome following the hard work everyone has put in over the winter.
"Similarly to today, we have an extensive plan pencilled in for Lando tomorrow, as he drives the MCL34 for the first time. All-in-all, today was a good first step for our team in 2019."