Vettel, Ferrai start strong in F1 preseason testing

Sebastian Vettel testing
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BARCELONA, Spain — Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest lap during an error-free first day of testing in the Formula One preseason on Monday.

Vettel steered his Ferrari to a session-best time of 1 minute, 18.161 seconds. The four-time champion was also the busiest driver with 169 laps completed on the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton shared time behind the wheel for Mercedes with teammate Valtteri Bottas and ended up with the ninth-fastest time.

Vettel was the runner-up to Hamilton last season.

Carlos Sainz put in the second-quickest lap in his first ride with McLaren, followed by Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Kimi Raikkonen had the fifth-best time for his new team, Alfa Romeo, but also went off the track twice without damaging his car.