The 2020 Formula 1 season has officially begun with pre-season testing underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. Owing to the reduction of 2 testing days many teams have opted for a different test strategy this year.
Below is the recap of Day 1 -
- Lewis Hamilton leads the timesheets (1:16.976) by 0.337 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
- The pole time at the Spanish GP last year was 1:15.406 set by Bottas.
- Mercedes completed the most laps by any team (173), while Haas ran the least laps (104).
- Max Verstappen drove the most laps by a single driver (168).
- Initial glimpses suggest that the cars have good reliability, with each team clocking laps in excess of hundred without any issues.
- Although Max Verstappen spun a couple of times and Kevin Magnussen went off-track as well, there weren't any red flags throughout the day.
- George Russell's Williams was the first car to step out on Day 1, sending out a message to the rest of the paddock of their preparations this year. Last year, the team had failed to run on the first 2 days of testing as their car wasn't finished yet.
- Ferrari made some last minute changes as Sebastian Vettel wasn't able to participate due to sickness, and Charles Leclerc had to fill in for him.
- McLaren topped the speed charts (329.5 km/hr). Red Bull were slower by 2km/hr with Ferrari adrift by 21 km/hr, which goes to show the Italian team have been running easy so far, probably with higher wing levels and a larger fuel load.
- Racing Point's RP20 caught some eyeballs with it's stark similarity to the Mercedes W11, something which their rivals are unhappy about. They seemed to divert from their front-end aero ideology of the past few years and brought a nose product awfully similar to Mercedes'.
- Early signs suggest Red Bull have made gains from last year and McLaren look set to repeat their midfield dominance, however its just the first day so far and the rest of testing could portray a different picture.
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