Francisco Seco/Associated Press

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2017

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari set the fastest lap on Monday morning in the first day of Formula One’s 2017 pre-season testing, which commenced at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona.

The German, who set the best time on Day 1 last year, surpassed it with a time of 1:22.791 to top the timesheets again.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas took his new team’s W08 for its debut test and was close behind the four-time world champion after completing the circuit in 1:23.169, and he also completed the most laps with 79.

Lewis Hamilton will be out for Mercedes in the afternoon session.

Here’s a look at how the morning played out:


Morning Recap

Formula One’s official Twitter account provided the classification after the morning’s session:

Vettel and Bottas played out an exciting duel during the session as they traded the fastest lap back and forth throughout proceedings, with Vettel ultimately coming out on top.

Both constructors will have been pleased with the reliability their new cars showed, with the pair completing almost 150 laps combined.

Red Bull and McLaren had less reason to be pleased, though, as they debuted their RB13 and MCL32 cars.

Driving the former, Daniel Ricciardo saw the red flags emerge for the first time this season when his car came to a halt just four laps in.

F1 and Red Bull’s official Twitter feeds provided more details:

Fernando Alonso and McLaren had a similarly frustrating time, as a problem with the car’s oil system restricted the Spaniard to just one lap.

Kevin Magnussen also faced some issues after completing seven laps. He was eventually able to get back out on the circuit, only for his morning to end badly:

Ferrari and Mercedes will be hoping for more of the same after lunch, and it will be intriguing to see how Hamilton fares in the W08 compared with his new team-mate.

As for Red Bull, McLaren and Haas, it’s clear they have some issues to work on in the meantime.   

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