Barcelona F1 testing: Hamilton fastest, Mercedes dominates day one

Luke Smith
Hamilton fastest as Mercedes dominates first day

Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 on the opening day of 2020 Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona, topping the timesheets ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

After watching team-mate Bottas set the pace in the new Mercedes W11 car through the morning session, reigning world champion Hamilton took over for the afternoon, completing 94 laps.

Hamilton managed to beat Bottas's time within the first 90 minutes of the four-hour session, and improved further to end the day with a best lap of 1m16.976s, set on the C2 compound tyre.

The lap left Hamilton three tenths of a second clear of Bottas in the final standings.

The Finn racked up 79 laps in the morning session, with his fastest effort coming on the C3 tyre.

Sergio Perez finished an impressive third for Racing Point as the team broke cover with its new RP20 car, notable for its similarities to Mercedes's 2019-spec design.

Perez lapped within four-tenths of a second of Hamilton on the C3 tyre, completing 58 laps before handing over to team-mate Lance Stroll for the afternoon.

Stroll ended the day 10th fastest with 52 laps.

Max Verstappen finished fourth for Red Bull, half a second off Hamilton's benchmark time, but suffered two spins in the afternoon in the final sector.

They proved to be the most notable on-track incidents during a quiet day of uninterrupted running, as all teams managed to complete over 100 laps thanks to a lack of red flags or stoppages.

Ferrari finished the opening day down in 11th with Charles Leclerc, who deputised for the unwell Sebastian Vettel.

Leclerc completed more than two race distances despite being kept in the garage for over an hour at the start of the afternoon session, finishing the day 1.3s shy of Hamilton.

Hamilton fastest as Mercedes dominates first day

Daniil Kvyat took fifth place for AlphaTauri ahead of McLaren's Carlos Sainz Jr (pictured above), with both setting their fastest time on the C2 compound.

Renault split running between Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, who finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Ricciardo was able to beat Ocon's time by 0.131s in the afternoon. George Russell ended a solid first day of testing for Williams in ninth place, having completed 73 laps through the morning.

In a far cry from 2019, when the team missed the first two and a half days of the first test due to delays with the build of its car, Russell finished 1.1 seconds behind Hamilton, and reported the new FW43 was already "much better" to drive.

Nicholas Latifi took over from Russell in the afternoon, finishing two tenths of a second off his team-mate in 12th.

Robert Kubica ended the day 13th during his maiden outing as Alfa Romeo's reserve driver, completing 59 laps in the morning.

Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi propped up the timesheets in 15th place, the pair split by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

Testing resumes at 9am local time on Thursday at Barcelona.

Full Wednesday times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.976s - 94
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m17.313s 0.337s 79
3 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m17.375s 0.399s 58
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m17.516s 0.540s 168
5 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1m17.698s 0.722s 116
6 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1m17.842s 0.866s 161
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m17.873s 0.897s 56
8 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m18.004s 1.028s 62
9 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1m18.168s 1.192s 73
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m18.282s 1.306s 52
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m18.289s 1.313s 132
12 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1m18.382s 1.406s 63
13 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m18.386s 1.410s 59
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m18.466s 1.490s 106
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m20.096s 3.120s 79


Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus