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Ferrari lead the charge as 2016 testing begins in Spain // Mercedes put in the laps whilst Haas suffer front wing setback

Published by Christine

Celis gets a chance behind the Force India wheel
Celis gets a chance behind the Force India wheelCredit: Sahara Force India
Sauber participating with last year's car
Sauber participating with last year's carCredit: Sauber AG
Hamilton completes more than 150 laps
Hamilton completes more than 150 lapsCredit: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets on day one
Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets on day oneCredit: Ferrari Media

We can now say the build up to 2016's Formula One season is well and truly underway after the first day of official pre-season testing went off without a hitch. Well, apart from a few early niggles here and there. Overall it was a solid day for all 11 teams, kicking off with a few more launches in the pit lane. Once the covers were off the cars, the running got underway in earnest.

It was damp early on and teams opted to use intermediates to deal with the light rain that fell in the morning. It cleared up as the morning went on, and Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel found themselves trading fastest laps before lunch. Vettel took the early top spot and continued to hold on to it until the end of the day.

A few teams had mechanical issues, most notably Haas who suffered a slightly embarrassing front wing failure that kept them in the garage for the rest of the day. Before that, they managed to complete over 30 laps, though, and they weren't last, so not all bad news particularly for a brand new team. Renault found themselves struggling with no major issues but a handful of smaller problems, whilst Toro Ross also had trouble.

We completed our build-up runs in the morning and everything was progressing quiet well. Unfortunately, during one of the early runs this afternoon we saw something in the data that's a little bit strange in the gearbox oil system, so as a precaution we decided to stop the car. Overall, we are pleased with today after such a late decision on our power unit, so to get to this point and run the car relatively successfully straight away is very pleasing.

- Phil Charles, chief race engineer, Toro Rosso

Sauber brought last year's car to Barcelona this week, as their new machinery is not quite ready yet. Marcus Ericsson was solidly in the midfield with the 2015 chassis. Meanwhile, Force India ran newcomer Alfonso Celis who put on a good showing to finish fifth by the end of the day. Much of our attention should also go to McLaren, who completed 84 laps and said they had a lot more confidence than they did during testing last year!

2016 testing - Day 1, Barcelona
PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1S VettelScuderia Ferrari1:24.93969
2L HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:25.409156
3D RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:26.04487
4V BottasWilliams Martini Racing1:26.09180
5A CelisSahara Force India F1 Team1:26.29858
6J ButtonMcLaren Honda F1 Team1:26.73584
7C SainzScuderia Toro Rosso1:27.18055
8M EricssonSauber F1 Team1:27.55588
9P WehrleinManor Racing MRT1:28.29254
10R GrosjeanHaas F1 Team1:28.39931
11J PalmerRenault Sport F1 Team1:29.35637

Roughly a five second split between the fastest and the slowest is quite a big margin, but perhaps not so bad when you consider it's only the first day and there are a lot of kinks still to be worked out. Lewis Hamilton's lap count is staggering, with the next best number being Marcus Ericsson's 88 tours of the Barcelona track.

So good to be back behind the wheel, great first impressions with the #HaasF1 !!!

RGrosjean RGrosjean

260kms of evaluation mileage under our belts and the full programme completed. Happy as.

ManorRacing ManorRacing

A little trip round for @JolyonPalmer and the R.S.16 to salute the afternoon sun here in #Barcelona...

RenaultSportF1 RenaultSportF1

. @LewisHamilton @MercedesAMGF1 has now done more km on first day of testing 2016 than the Mercedes completed on first day In 2015 #reliable

RachelBrookesTV RachelBrookesTV

Tomorrow will see Nico Rosberg in action for the first time for Mercedes, whilst Celis hands over the keys of the Force India to Sergio Pérez. Max Verstappen jumps in the Toro Rosso whilst it's Alonso's turn over at McLaren. Finally, Esteban Gutiérrez gets to test out the Haas and hopefully he'll be able to complete a few more laps for the new US team.

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