As I say each year, there are a throng of folks who say you can’t tell a darn thing from testing because you don’t know fuel loads, testing strategies, track temp impact and many other things. That’s true but it’s also true that you can tell a few things and the teams themselves can tell even more about a day of testing.
From a fan’s perspective, you have one key indicator of a car’s performance in how many laps they complete each day. In this metric, it was Red Bull that stood alone with the most laps completed on day one of testing.
This suggests reliability and watching the car on kerbs (curbs), it seemed balanced and rotated well. This suggests that Max Verstappen, who ran all day while other split duties, was happy with his new ride.
Fernando Alonso put in a good lap late on soft tires, as did several others, and this also bode well for ultimate pace but the Red Bull was still quicker.
One thing that I’ve learned over the past 8 years is to not trust a thing Mercedes says about their testing program. They’ve downplayed their pace in testing for so long only to start the season beating the competition like a Slingerland snare drum with a Vic Firth drumstick. I’ll believe their slower performance when I see it on the first qualifying session.
Testing Day 1 results:
- Verstappen (Red Bull) 1m32.837s, C3, 157 laps
- Alonso (Aston Martin) 1m32.866s, C3, 60 laps
- Sainz (Ferrari) 1m33.253s, C3, 72 laps
- Leclerc (Ferrari) 1m33.267s, C3, 64 laps
- Norris (McLaren) 1m33.462s, C3, 40 laps
- Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m33.508s, C3, 83 laps
- Albon (Williams) 1m33.671s, C4, 74 laps
- Zhou (Alfa Romeo) 1m33.723s, C3, 67 laps
- Russell (Mercedes) 1m34.174s, C3, 69 laps
- Sargeant (Williams) 1m34.324s, C3, 75 laps
- Hulkenberg (Haas) 1m34.424s, C3, 51 laps
- Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 1m34.558s, C3, 71 laps
- De Vries (AlphaTauri) 1m34.559s, test, 85 laps
- Drugovich (Aston Martin) 1m34.564s, C3, 40 laps
- Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) 1m34.671s, C3, 46 laps
- Gasly (Alpine) 1m34.822s, C2, 60 laps
- Ocon (Alpine) 1m34.871s, C2, 53 laps
- Piastri (McLaren) 1m34.888s, C3, 52 laps
- Magnussen (Haas) 1m35.087s, C3, 57 laps