Kimi Raikkonen got his Ferrari comeback off to a successful start as he topped the timings on the first day of pre-season testing at Jerez.
On a day where more cars were launched and the first hints were given of what the new V6 era will look and sound like, it was a day where events in the garages were more prevalent than those on the track.
Indeed on the opening day only six cars set lap times with a further two completing a number of installation laps, McLaren were unable to get on the circuit at all on Tuesday as electrical problems struck the MP4-29.
The day began with the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton trundling down the Jerez pit-lane at precisely 9am CET as the Briton completed the first official lap of the new V6 era, however, it was over two hours before he set a lap time with a 1:33.305.
To begin with, only the Mercedes and the Ferrari were able to take to the circuit, though the Finn’s first lap resulted in the first red flag of the day as he pulled up on the run towards the Dry Sac corner.
His F14-T was returned to the pits and systems checked over which cost the Scuderia around 90 minutes.
Force India were the next to send their new car out as the media got their first proper look at the new VJM07. Making his debut for the team, Sergio Perez also made it as far as Dry Sac corner before halting on his install lap, however, as Ferrari had done with Raikkonen he was able to complete some running in the afternoon.
Toro Rosso completed the engine line-up as the Renault-powered STR9 hit the track with Jean-Eric Vergne behind the wheel. The Frenchman had a productive morning, completing several short runs throughout the day, though a failure early in the afternoon did bring out the third red flag of the day.
Sauber were the final team to complete a lap in the morning as Esteban Gutierrez completed a couple of installation laps in the C33.
Hamilton continued his productive day at Mercedes completing 18 laps in the morning, however, his day was brought to a shuddering halt just before lunch as he crashed on the approach to turn one after what appeared to be a front wing failure.
That came after he set the fastest time of the morning a 1:27.820 which would be the second fastest time overall on the day.
Caterham had a slow start after technical issues prevented them from even launching their car in the morning, however just after lunch the new CT05 burst into life and new Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson completed his first and only F1 lap of the year.
Williams were next to hit the circuit as Valtteri Bottas completed his first laps with the FW36. The Finn completed just seven laps on the day but ended it third on the timings with a 1:30.082 just over two seconds behind Hamilton.
During the afternoon, Raikkonen completed a longer stint with intermittent stops in the pits, during that run he set the fastest time of the day at 1:27.104 and also completed 31 laps–nearly twice that of the next highest by Lewis Hamilton.
A late rain shower appeared to bring the days activities to a halt early but after being sat in the garage all day, Sebastian Vettel did bring the new Red Bull RB10 out for it’s first appearance completing three installation laps in the final 20 minutes of running.
F1 Testing Jerez (Day One)
1 Raikkonen (Ferrari), 1m27.104s (31 laps)
2 Hamilton (Mercedes), 1m27.820s (18 laps)
3 Bottas (Williams), 1m30.082s (7 laps)
4 Perez (Force India), 1m33.161s (11 laps)
5 Vergne (Toro Rosso), 1m36.530s (15 laps)
6 Gutierrez (Sauber), 1m42.257s (7 laps)
7 Vettel (Red Bull), no time (3 laps)
8 Ericsson (Caterham), no time (1 lap)
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