Barcelona F1 test, Day 1: Norris quickest on day one of pre-season testing

As new era of F1 gets underway in Barcelona 


By Olivier Ferret

23 February 2022 - 18:38
Barcelona F1 test, Day 1: Norris (...)

Lando Norris went quickest on the opening day of testing in Barcelona as Formula 1’s new era got underway at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The McLaren driver ended the session more than half a second clear of the Ferrari cars of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Built to satisfy the most extensive set of regulation changes in the sport’s history, all aimed at closer racing and a more competitive grid, teams arrived in Barcelona with a radically different field of cars and on a day of intense, unbroken it was Norris who emerged at the top of the timesheet.

The Briton left his best to late in the day and used the C4 compound soft tyre to eclipse morning pacesetter Charles Leclerc. Norris halted the stopwatch at 1m19.568s, 0.597s quicker than Leclerc.

Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz, finished the day in third spot. Like his team-mate the Spaniard used the C3 compound Pirelli tyre to take the Ferrari F1-75 to a best time of 1:20.416, 0.251s slower than his team-mate.

Fourth place on the day went to new Mercedes recruit George Russell. The former Williams driver put in 77 laps and registered a best time of 1:20.784. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton took

over at the wheel of the W13 in the afternoon and the seven-time world champion logged 50 laps as worked his way to a best time of 1:20.929.

Hamilton lost time in the afternoon as he spent some time in the Mercedes garage as his team worked on the front suspension of his car.

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel took sixth place with a best time of 1m21.276s set in the morning, while Yuki Tsunoda registered 121 laps to claim seventh with a lap of 1:21.638.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was another driver to break the century mark and the Spanish driver’s 121 laps resulted in a best time of 1:21.746, set on C2 compound tyres.

That left ninth place to defending world champion Max Verstappen. The RB18 rolled out by Red Bull Racing in Barcelona was vastly different to that featured in images from the team’s launch and the radical new machine impressed with 147 laps on the opening day, all completed by Verstappen so logged the highest single-driver total of the day.

The top 10 order was completed by new Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas who took over from Robert Kubica in the afternoon. Alfa Romeo posted just 43 laps in total, however, as it battled a series of small issues during the day. New Williams driver Alex Albon took 11th place, just ahead of Haas’ Mick Schumacher.

Haas had a difficult day as floor damage restricted Schumacher’s running and team-mate Nikita Mazepin only completed 20 laps. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was 13th ahead of Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, Mazepin and Kubica.

01 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:19.568 103
02 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:20.165 80
03 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:20.416 73
04 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:20.784 77
05 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:20.929 50
06 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:21.276 52
07 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBP AT03 1:21.638 121
08 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:21.746 127
09 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBP RB18 1:22.246 147
10 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:22.572 23
11 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:22.760 66
12 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:22.962 23
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:23.327 67
14 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:23.379 66
15 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:24.505 20
16 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:25.909 9

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