Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull set the early pace as F1 2018 got underway at winter testing in Barcelona on Monday.
The former world champions brought forward the launch of their RB14 in an attempt to make a fast start to the season and Ricciardo posted a best time of 1:20.179 just before the lunch break.
The Australian’s lap, set on the medium tyre, was 1.6 seconds quicker than the best time set on day one of 2017 testing.
Valtteri Bottas was two tenths slower than Ricciardo for world champions Mercedes, while Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari was fourth tenths off the Red Bull despite the Finn’s best time being on the faster soft tyre.
Nico Hulkenberg was fourth fastest and completed the most laps (73) on an encouraging morning for Renault.
But McLaren’s testing pain continued as Fernando Alonso was limited to just 10 laps after spinning out at the final corner inside the opening hour.
Alonso was able to return for the final 12 minutes before the lunch break but was only eighth fastest with a 1:24.202.
How to follow Test One on Sky F1 Monday February 26 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook Tuesday February 27 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook Wednesday February 28 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook Thursday March 1 Sky F1 digital live blog, SSN updates 9pm: Paddock Uncut 9:15pm: Ted’s Notebook
However, there was encouragement for Toro Rosso in their new partnership with McLaren’s former engine suppliers Honda as they avoided any reliability problems with Brendon Hartley managing 72 laps and posting the fifth-fastest time.
Lance Stroll was sixth in the Williams, ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, while Marcus Ericsson was ninth in the Sauber, just in front of Force India’s Nikita Mazepin who also span and was slowest of all.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton will make his first appearance of the season when he takes over from Bottas in the afternoon session.
Hulkenberg will also hand over the RS18 to Carlos Sainz, while Sergey Sirotkin will make his debut in the FW41.
Barcelona Test One, Day One Lunch Timesheet Driver Team Laps Fastest Time Tyre Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 60 1:20.179 Medium Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 58 1:20.349 Medium Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 60 1:20.506 Soft Nico Hulkenberg Renault 73 1:20.547 Medium Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 72 1:22.371 Soft Lance Stroll Williams 46 1:22.452 Soft Romain Grosjean Haas 32 1:23.092 Medium Fernando Alonso McLaren 10 1:24.202 Supersoft Marcus Ericsson Sauber 41 1:24.897 Medium Nikita Mazepin Force India 22 1:25.628 Medium
The Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk for all days of winter testing while Sky Sports News will also deliver live updates from trackside.