Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing asserted their presence early on Day 1 of pre-season testing for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, going to the top of the leaderboard in the morning with a lap time of 1:20.179, good enough to keep them at the top through the afternoon.
Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen originally held the fastest lap through the morning, but both Ricciardo and Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Valtteri Bottas jumped ahead near the end of the morning session.
Ricciardo, who also turned the most laps of the day at 105, offered the below assessment of the first day of testing.
Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. were fourth and fifth quickest for Renault Sport F1 Team, while four-time and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton turned the sixth fastest lap of the day.
Fernando Alonso rebounded from an early morning incident to end up seventh, while Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley enjoyed a solid day, the team’s first with Honda power units, to run 93 laps on his way to eighth fastest.
Of note: Nikita Mazepin piloted Sahara Force India’s VJM11 on the first day. Race drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will sample the car later this week.