F1 Testing Session In Barcelona – Day 1 Findings

by Martin Blessing

The start of the 2022 Formula 1 season has officially begun, with the pre-season testing session in Barcelona.

Teams finally got the chance to put their newly designed cars, through their paces and test their overall reliability. With new regulations for the upcoming season, the teams have been challenged with designing a car that can not only comply, but hopefully challenge competitively also.

This year finds the pre-season testing split across two stages. The first, occurring this week, is the ‘pre-season session’ held in Barcelona. This session isn’t televised, as owing to the new regulations, it’s best that the cars are kept behind closed doors for their first outing. The second ‘pre-season testing’ is held in Bahrain, and will begin on March the 10th.

Returning to today’s session, and the mornings running proved as expected for most teams. A lot of teams where running flow-vis paint and aero-rakes to gauge flow of air throughout their car. This would be expected, as there would still be some relative unknowns.

Williams - Flow-Vis Paint
Williams – Flow-Vis Paint

The top teams fared well in the morning session. Charles Leclerc was in charge of the Ferrari for the morning session and found himself at the top of the timing charts. More importantly, the Monegasque completed a total of 80 laps for the Italian outfit. A good initial indication of reliability. Lando Norris got to grips quickly with McLaren’s MCL36 also and placed himself second on the timing charts, Newcomer to Mercedes, George Russell, performed well also, sticking the W13 third, with a total of 77 laps.

Alfa Romeo seemed to be the most worrisome of all teams in the morning, with Robert Kubica only managing a total of 9 laps. Far behind those elsewhere. Alfa Romeo issues largely bored down to some technical glitches.

Afternoon

With a minor break from the morning session, the afternoon session was underway. Most teams opted for a driver switch. Mercedes brought in seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, to take charge of the W13. Ferrari gave Carlos Sainz the baton for the F1-75 and Lance Stroll took the reigns at Aston Martin. 2022 world champion Max Verstappen was in for the long haul today, with the dutchman racking up a total of 147 laps for Red Bull. Not setting the timings alight however, Verstappen’s aim today was surely one of reliability as opposed to performance.

Lando Norris began the afternoon’s session with initial car troubles, requiring his car to be dragged back to the paddock, after it appeared the papaya car was in some bother. Seemingly nothing major, Norris was back out on to the tracked and knocked up an impressive 103 laps for McLaren, as well as setting the fastest lap of the day.

The likes of Haas and Alfa Romeo will be hoping for a much better outing over the next two days, as their total lap counts rather pale in comparison to the rest of the grid.

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