In the first of a two-day test at Circuit de Catalunya, four up-and-coming drivers either had their first experience behind the wheel of an F1 ride or added to the brief experience they’ve already had to date.
It was the first of two in-season tests (the other is after June’s Austrian Grand Prix) that F1 has sanctioned.
Sauber reserve driver Raffaele Marciello (Ferrari), along with Oliver Turvey (McLaren Honda), Pierre Gasly (Scuderia Toro Rosso) and Nick Yelloly (Sahara Force India) were among the nine drivers that took part in the test.
F1 veteran Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) not only clocked the best time of the day (1:24.374), but also the most number of laps (146).
As for the four young drivers, Marciello was the fastest of the group (and third overall of the nine-driver field), with a time of 1:26.648 (and ran 125 laps). Marciello had earlier running in the week during Free Practice 1 (pictured above) with Sauber.
Yelloly was sixth-quickest in the field (1:27.396) and ran 109 laps. He was not slated to test until Wednesday, but with Pascal Wehrlein under the weather, Yelloly’s schedule was moved up a day.
Before the day began, it was clear how excited Yelloly was.
Meanwhile, Gasly was seventh-quickest (1:27.639 and 131 laps).
More: Up-and-coming Frenchman Pierre Gasly has ‘exceptional’ first F1 test in Barcelona
The fourth first-time F1 driver, Oliver Turvey, rounded out the field but struggled to find speed that cut into his lap count (1:28.542 and just 66 laps), leaving him as the slowest of the nine drivers that took to the track.
McLaren opted to focus on aero work in the morning but was delayed by sensor issues. Turvey ran untroubled in the afternoon as the team focused on suspension work.
Jenson Button will take over for Turvey on Wednesday and attempt to squeeze out more speed and performance.
Rosberg fastest in opening day of Barcelona in-season test
NOTES: Legendary Australian driver and engineer Frank Matich passed away in Sydney. He was 80 years old. In 2013, Matich was named by Autosport magazine as one of the best 50 drivers to never have raced in Formula 1 (he turned down several offers to race in F1 to remain loyal to his native roots). … Also, Tuesday marked the 24th anniversary of the late Ayrton Senna’s win from the pole in the 1991 Monaco Grand Prix, the fourth of his record six wins in the principality.