It was all going on during Day 1 in Barcelona.
McLaren failed to get their new MCL32 out of the garage for the first few hours, while Daniel Ricciardo’s time in the newly launched RB13 was blighted by a sensor issue near the beginning of the day. A bit later on in the day, Kevin Magnussen’s Haas ran into issues at pit entry, forcing the Dane to stop the car in the pits in order to avoid a red flag.
Sebastian Vettel set the early lead in his Ferrari, topping the morning timesheets, with Valtteri Bottas not too far away in the Mercedes. Again, the Silver Arrows seem to be more prepared for testing than any other team, as was the case last year when they recorded well over 100 laps on some days.
When Alonso and McLaren finally managed to get the car going, it grinded to a halt two minutes into its run. They got going afterwards, however, getting to the double-digit lap count with about an hour to spare. Red Bull also had further issues, with battery problems ruining their afternoon running.
Of course, as is the go every year during testing, there was a whole catalogue of parts looking like they’ve come straight from the nearest farmhouse, with various teams coming up with crazy looking sensors in the name of tracking data on new components.
As well as the collection of bits and pieces looking fresh from the farm, there was also some more unconventional pieces being tested. Mercedes have put a small shark fin on their car. However, it had a rather unconventional setup, with a small opening at the top. This could potentially be to help airflow to the T-wing just behind it. Williams also tried out a T-wing of their own during testing, with Felipe Massa behind the wheel.
As of 4:30pm GMT, Lewis Hamilton was on top, having taking over from team-mate Valtteri Bottas and sporting a new yellow helmet. Felipe Massa was in second place with Sebastian Vettel in third. Bottas was a bit further down the pecking order, opting for longer stints and different tests rather than going for pure speed. With that being said, who knows. He could well be helping Mercedes sandbag the true pace of their car.
With seven days of testing left after this, it will be interesting to see who gains the most from the tests.