(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)
Formula One is back! The teams and drivers kicked off their preparations for the 2015 Formula One season in Jerez this morning as the silence at the Spanish circuit was shattered by the sound of 1.6 litre V6 Turbo charged power units.
The opening day of winter testing is like the first day of a new term in school and this is particularly true for two drivers as Sebastian Vettel starts work for Scuderia Ferrari having moved to the Italian team from Infiniti Red Bull Racing while Fernando Alonso starts work with McLaren Honda. The opening day of the test is always a lottery as it is the first chance that teams really get to start logging data and accumulating laps.
For McLaren Honda the opening test in Jerez is all about systems checks and discovering how the Honda power unit works. The same can be said for the Lotus F1 Team as they move to Mercedes power this season.
So as the teams broke for lunch, it was no surprise that Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Nico Rosberg was on top of the timesheets with a 1m 23.106s having completed over 43 laps so far.
Daniel Ricciardo was second fastest in the Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB11 with a fastest time of 1m 24.641s, 1.535s behind Rosberg. Marcus Ericsson was third fastest for the Sauber F1 Team despite bringing out the red flags in the early stages of this morning’s action. The Swedish driver recorded a time of 1m 24.804s.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest for the Williams Martini Racing Team with a 1m 25.167s, 2.061s behind Rosberg.
Carlos Sainz Jnr, making his on track debut as a Formula One driver was fifth fastest for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team in the STR10 which was revealed on Saturday. The Spaniard finished the morning session in sixth place just behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who set a time of 1m 25.764s.
McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso rounded out the times with a 1m 40.738s although we can’t ready into the times at this early stage in testing as for McLaren they are on a completely different programme compared to the other teams.
We have yet to see the Lotus F1 Team out on track but they will make an appearance this afternoon as they begin their new partnership with Mercedes Benz power.
© Ben Johnston 2015