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Verstappen fastest on first day of mid-season F1 tests

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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.