F1 pre-season testing day 1: Lewis dominates, Sebastian falls ill, Daniel’s touching tribute

Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona. (Photo: Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton in Barcelona. (Photo: Eric Alonso/MB Media/Getty Images)

Day one of F1’s 2020 pre-season testing in a chilly Barcelona on Wednesday was dominated by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.

Hamilton bested teammate Valtteri Bottas with three-tenths of a second on the time-sheets as the Mercedes duo completed the most laps of any team – a total of 173.

Seventy-nine of those laps were completed in the morning session of the first day by Bottas, before Hamilton took over the new Mercedes W11 for the afternoon and completed 94 laps. 

Racing Point’s Sergio Perez took the P3 spot with a strong opening day, finishing just 0.062s behind Bottas. 

With testing cut down to only six days from the usual eight, high lap counts were not unexpected. Max Verstappen racked up an impressive 168 laps in the new Red Bull RB16 as he finished comfortably in P4. 

The top 5 was rounded off by Daniil Kvyat in the AlphaTauri AT01. 

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Charles Leclerc ended up in P11 after he had to take over the Ferrari SF1000 when Sebastian Vettel fell ill and had to retreat to his hotel room for the day. 

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, who ended the first day in P7, paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant with a purple helmet that had the words "Mamba Mentality", "KB 24", and "KB 8" written on it. The Los Angeles Lakers legend died in a fiery helicopter crash in Los Angeles on 26 January.


1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes: 1:16.976

2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes: 1:17.313

3. Sergio Perez, Racing Point: 1:17.375

4. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing: 1:17.516

5. Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri: 1:17.698

6. Carlos Sainz, McLaren: 1:17.842

7. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault: 1:17.873

8. Esteban Ocon, Renault: 1:18.004

9. George Russell, Williams: 1:18.168

10. Lance Stroll, Racing Point: 1:18.282

11. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari: 1:18.289

12. Nicholas Latifi, Williams: 1:18.382

13. Robert Kubica, Alfa Romeo: 1:18:386

14. Kevin Magnussen, Haas: 1:18.466

15. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo: 1:20.096

(Compiled by Herman Eloff. Source F1, ESPN)

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