MONTMELO, Spain (AP) Max Verstappen recorded the fastest time through the first day of mid-season Formula One testing on Tuesday.
Verstappen steered his Red Bull Racing RB14 to a lap of 1 minute, 17.538 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where he finished Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix in third place behind winner Lewis Hamilton and runner-up Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton had the sixth fastest time and put in the most work of any driver with 151 laps in his Mercedes AMG Pretronas W09.
Renault Sport F1 Team’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Sebastian Vettel for Scuderia Ferrari clocked the second and third quickest laps.
Many teams used junior drivers, defined as a driver who has completed two or fewer races, as required by F1 regulations for in-season testing.
Nicholas Latifi, driving Sahara for Force India, was the fastest of the inexperienced drivers with the fifth-best time behind Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean in fourth.
Scuderia Toro Rosso had to change a power unit and kept reserve driver Sean Gelael to a session-low 50 laps.
Testing concludes on Wednesday.
Hamilton leads the standings with 95 points after five races. Vettel is second with 78.
Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.
The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.
“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.
“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.
“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”
The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.
Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.
Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.
McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.