Vettel tops opening day of F1 testing at Jerez

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Sebastian Vettel set the pace for Ferrari on the opening day of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Jerez.

Vettel posted a lap of 1:22.620 in the afternoon to end his first day at the wheel of a Ferrari fastest, completing 59 laps in the new SF15-T.

Marcus Ericsson ended the day second overall in the Sauber C34, +0.157s adrift of the four-time world champion, despite an early spin in the morning which briefly brought out the yellow flags.

Nico Rosberg was third in the new Mercedes, but the 2014 runner-up spent most of the day at the top of the timesheets, racking up an impressive haul of 154 laps at the wheel of the W06 Hybrid.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest in the striking camouflage liveried Red Bull RB11, but the Australian was restricted to just 35 laps in total after being forced into the pits with a smoking car in the morning.

Despite the setback, the team completed more laps on Sunday than it did in the entirety of the first test in Jerez last year, when the team managed just 21 across four days.

Valtteri Bottas spent the early part of the day confined to the garage but recovered to complete 73 laps in the new Williams FW37, which was unveiled ahead of the test.

Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr completed 46 laps on his way to sixth, but the Spaniard lost time late on after a failure forced him to stop out on track, prompting the second and final red flag of the day.

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McLaren’s running was extremely limited on Sunday, and Fernando Alonso completed just six laps over the course of the day, as the team encountered early problems with the Honda-powered MP4-30.

Lotus missed the opening day of testing after its 2015 car was delayed in getting to the Jerez circuit.

The team’s E23 is expected to arrive at Jerez on Sunday evening, with a view to debuting the car on Monday.

Images courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

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