Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel started the 2016 Formula 1 season on an ominous note by topping the opening day of the first test in Barcelona.
Vettel lapped the Circuit de Catalunya in 1:24.939 during the morning session, putting him nearly half a second clear of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
The Silver Arrows, who have dominated the last two seasons, racked up 155 laps during the eight hour test, completing nearly twice the race distance. In all, it was a trouble free day for the Brackley-based team.
Meanwhile, Red Bull was third in the timesheets, with Daniel Ricciardo behind the wheel. Ricciardo completed a total of 86 laps, the quickest of which was 1:26.044.
Valtteri Bottas was not far behind in the Williams, with Force India juniour Celis Alfonso Jr pipping McLaren’s Jenson Button right at the end of the session to steal the fifth spot.
Toro Rosso reported abnormality in data which prevented Carlos Sainz to just 55 laps. He ended the session as seventh quickest, ahead of Marcus Ericsson’s 2015 Sauber.
Pascal Wehrlein was on duty for Manor during the opening day of the test, completing 54 laps en route to ninth place.
Behind, Romain Grosjean completed 31 laps - fewest of any driver - for the newly found Haas team. The car’s front wing failed during the session, halting the test abruptly.
And finally, Jolyon Palmer completed the chart with a lap time of 1:29.356.