Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Ricciardo fastest as rain hampers first test of 2018

2018 F1 season

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Daniel Ricciardo headed the first test session of the 2018 F1 season as rain limited the teams’ running at a cold Circuit de Catalunya.

The RB14 moved to the top of the times sheets shortly before the lunch break with a lap of 1’20.179. It left him just under two-tenths of a second quicker than Valtteri Bottas, who handed over to team mate Lewis Hamilton before the afternoon running began.

Rain arrived during the second half of the day’s running and by the final hour the track conditions were wet enough for first intermediates and later full wet weather tyres. Haas and Sauber called an early end to their running but Ricciardo pressed on, reaching 100 laps shortly before the chequered flag fell.

Kimi Raikkonen was third-fastest in the new Ferrari SF71H. The team mainly concentrated on pit stop practice later in the day. He was just a few hundredths quicker than Nico Hulkenberg.

McLaren however was limited to just 47 laps as Fernando Alonso lost much of the morning’s running when a wheel nut problem pitched him off at the final corner.

Lewis Hamilton had the afternoon run in the Mercedes W09 but did just 25 laps. Behind him Brendon Hartley managed an encouraging 93 laps for Toro Rosso in their first test session with Honda power.

Force India test driver Nikita Mazepin managed only 22 laps after spinning at turn four. The team’s other test driver, Nicolas Latifi, was scheduled to run later in the week but will now miss his slot due to an infection.

Track temperatures of little more than 6C by the end of the session made for conditions which were far from representative of what teams usually encounter on race weekends. More rain is likely over the next two days before conditions begin to improve on Thursday, the final day of the test.

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Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLapsTyres
13Daniel RicciardoRed BullRB141’20.179105Medium
277Valtteri BottasMercedesW091’20.3490.17058Medium
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSF71H1’20.5060.32780Soft
427Nico HulkenbergRenaultRS181’20.5470.36873Soft
555Carlos Sainz JnrRenaultRS181’22.1681.98926Soft
644Lewis HamiltonMercedesW091’22.3272.14825Medium
714Fernando AlonsoMcLarenMCL331’22.3542.17551Super-soft
828Brendon HartleyToro RossoSTR131’22.3712.19293Soft
918Lance StrollWilliamsFW411’22.4522.27346Medium
108Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-181’22.5782.39955Soft
119Marcus EricssonSauberC371’23.4083.22963Soft
1234Nikita MazepinForce IndiaVJM111’25.6285.44922Medium
1335Sergey SirotkinWilliamsFW411’44.14823.96928Soft

2018 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 67 comments on “Ricciardo fastest as rain hampers first test of 2018”

    1. So, at what point are we allowed to assume the macca chassis is in fact Not the allconquering wonder machine some keep believing in? Or are we playing the “it’s just Testing/friday/albert Park/flyaway-season, we won’t know until *Insert n+1th Option* ” Game?

      1. Or are we playing the “it’s just Testing/friday/albert Park/flyaway-season, we won’t know until *Insert n+1th Option* ” Game?

        Well, with all due respect, that “game” tends to be a lot more reasonable than the “let’s jump to foregone conclusions based on not much more than personal expectations and the first shakedown of the cars” game. The latter is downright silly.

        1. Massa was 5th fastest at last years testing and look how his season planned out, plus, I read on another sites blog that some drivers were backing off on faster laps to not reveal their true speed. Testing times are meaningless.

          1. @emu55, on the first day of testing, Massa ended the day with the third quickest time (having topped the times at one point), followed by Magnussen in 4th place. We also saw Jolyon Palmer running in third place on the third and fourth days of the first test, demonstrating yet again how the headline times are often a fairly poor indicator of pace.

            Now, add to that the fact that today has seen relatively variable weather conditions, and it is fairly clear that the headline times are not really that representative of the running order. I’d rather wait and see when the teams start putting in longer stints that are more representative of race pace, and in conditions closer to those of a race (there’s even talk that they might have to extend the test because one of the days could be snowed off), before rushing to make a judgement.

          2. @emu55 where did you read that drivers deliberately slowed down? Read that last year on Vettel, but not seen that this year yet?

            1. @hahostolze if you take autosport live comments you can already find several drivers setting one or two purple sectors but not improving the lap, suggesting that they messed up or lift for the final one…

              I could be wrong but I think it happened with Alonso coincidentally on at least two laps in a row…

            2. Last year the one where all journalist talked about how stable and fast the Ferrari looked specially in the slow corners vettel lifted many times in the last corners specially in the first week of testing

        2. Boom @mrboerns got told.

      2. If they were the fastest you couldn’t attribute that to the car. It would have been the miraculous man, with the best FP session ever

      3. Nah mate, you have it wrong. They only have to beat Torro Rosso once in one race to prove how good they are.

      4. 46 laps, first shakedown, 1 second faster than torro rosso. They’d have probably also done a century of laps had it not been for this wheelnut on lap 6. Couldn’t expect much more the first time the mclaren runs with a new engine. Also, the real aero package apparently arrives for Melbourne, looking good. Far from perfect but most boxes checked today IMO.

        1. @spoutnik They spent three years telling us every opportunity they got how great their chassis was. I can and will point out every single time they fail to beat Red Bull.

          1. @mrboerns so we’re going to see a lot of comments like that from you, I can’t wait.

            1. Mr. Spoutnik….you are awesome.

          2. Well, here’s the peanut gallery full of hope & joy as expected. Did someone from McLaren hurt you @mrboerns?

            1. @baron longtime Kimi fan. Still hurts man! Also i just find Alonso, Boullier, Dennis and Brown soooo annoying in their persistance to not accept they are not the best team out there. And this leads to me finding their continued misery extremely amusing. And unlike jokes getting old, they’ve managed to up the ante for years now :D

            2. You’re forgiven, @mrboerns.
              Didn’t realise you’re a longtime Kimi fan; you deserve some joy in your life then. :p

          3. I have never seen Alonso act like McLaren is the best team ever since he rejoined, and Ron was forced to leave last year. In other news, Kimi has had no motivations for, like, 10 years at least.

            1. “…Also i just find Alonso, Boullier, Dennis and Brown soooo annoying in their persistance to not accept they are not the best team out there….”
              Good one!!!!!

              I, on the other had, would like it very much when my team tells me to accept that they are not the best team out there.

        2. well good chassis but failing engineers.. failing to securely attach a whee, or bad quality controll?
          Not a good start, but it fits the pattern of faults the last three years. Broken wings, gearbox, etc..
          Nothing to hide no Honda to take the blame..

        3. @spoutnik @mrboerns Not to choose sides here, but with Alonso’s chicane cutting lap deleted, the difference between STR and McLaren is only 0.017 sec.

          1. @hahostolze should it turn out that actually, in the real world, Toro Rosso fair better than Mclaren (bit of a long shot but whatever), i might actually die laughing

          2. @hahostolze didn’t know that. It’s a more average start then.

      5. “So, at what point are we allowed to assume the macca chassis is in fact Not the allconquering wonder machine some keep believing in?”

        We could say the same about F1 as a sport. This is the year more teams are competitive right? If not we can always rely on the media and pundits for individual pre-race hype and there`s always the `best wet race ever` to look forward to every season.

      6. @mrboerns my Ferrari prediction doesn’t look that inane now, does it.

        1. You think so?

      7. @mrboerns You can’t hold the 2018 McLaren to what the 2017 McLaren was alleged to be. That’s all there is to it.

    2. Did Force India just come to the realisation that Mazepin is dreadful? Surely the car was fine, why did he do so few laps? Did he pay for only 20?

      1. Please insert coin to continue

        1. nice years

          1. Priceless :-)

    3. So overall a good day for Mclaren apart from a failed wheelnut in morning.

    4. Good then they can test the rain tyres too.. Compaired with last year any improvements?

    5. So turns out nothing really changed. Renault gained around 2%, but Mercedes will be so efficient they’ll win races anyway on pure ICE reliability. Ferrari…. yea, they’ll probably (….) it up during the season. But the car looked fantastic in handling on track. I’m predicting Ferrari to have best aero surprisingly.

      Oh wait… Honda is 6th fastest and second in top speed just behind hijacked McLaren who cut the track with Alonso’s time and ran SS.
      @peartree if this turns out to be true, how many others will delete THEIR account you think? I’m guessing 0. Should I tag them to remind them…
      @keithcollantine the top speeds? Aren’t you adding those?
      Driver Max speed
      1. Räikkönen 288.7
      2. Hartley 284.9
      3. Stroll 283.4
      4. Alonso 282.7
      5. Hamilton 280.5
      6. Bottas 279.7
      7. Ericsson 279
      8. Ricciardo 277.6
      9. Sainz jr 277.6
      10. Grosjean 277.6
      11. Mazepin 276.9
      12. Hülkenberg 274.8
      13. Sirotkin 257.1

      1. Slow top speed from Hulk makes his lap time look even more impressive :)

        1. @hugh11

          True, it is little skewed as Alonso got a tow from Hartley and Nico had quite dirty track, but I must say, the Renault looked quite unstable going into Elf and Campsa, but apex speeds looked really fine. It Renault improves their aero, it has chance to match RBR in the first half.

          1. That was my thought after watching some videos on YT, the Renault looked twitchy.

      2. Hijacked McLaren? I can’t even start making sense of that.
        Also, those ‘top speeds’ are anything but ‘top’, they’re measured on the start/finish line

        1. It shows apex speeds of the STR were above average as well. So that’s untrue. Aren’t you also one guy that lied that Alonso’s crash in Melbourne would’ve been more dangerous with the Halo even after the FIA conducted tests it actually helped the driver escaping? I have pictures of this, so keep telling these things, I will remind you about this every-time.
          I can’t sense how those spooky PR accounts think they have influence discussion here when this isn’t Reddit.

          1. @xiasitlo
            Okay, I am definitely not the first person telling you this, but your writing is worryingly incoherent.
            – I didn’t even mention STR, and I don’t think that ‘top speed’ figure tells us anything about apex speed. The cars are nowhere near the limit through the final corner, so it’s easily flat out for everyone. Which means that this figure more or less speaks for the cars’ traction out of the penultimate corner, with some levelling due to tyre scrub and loss of acceleration caused by lateral loads in the final corner (which affects all cars alike, regardless of their PUs).
            – I am not that guy. I never subscribed to the theory that the Halo could make certain crashes more dangerous, and especially not accidents like Alonso’s in Melbourne. The worrying part is not the fact that you’re apparently mistaking me for someone else, but that you’re so startled that you immediately assume your combat stance and anticipate my presumed answers. You sound Paranoid with a capital P, man.
            – The same goes for ‘spooky PR accounts’, and you talking about them like you know what’s going on inside their minds. First of all, I don’t think that this site is a PR account playground. I count maybe 100-200 regular commenters, registered or not, and twice as many familiar faces. A few of them seem to tiptoe the party lines of their favourite teams, but I never, ever had the impression that there was more to it than just blind fandom. Let’s face it, this site isn’t as big as Reddit (yet), so maybe the powers that be don’t really care about our opinions? I know for a fact that my comments are not guided by anyone else’s interests. I do work for a company that puts a small badge on one team’s cars, but that’s all I have to offer in that respect. Should anyone want to pay me for covert PR operations, you know how to reach me. I’m 100% corruptible and relatively cheap.

            Long story short: I don’t mean to be rude, but sometimes confrontation is the best thing you can do. If you keep hearing that your behaviour is perceived as erratic, and you find yourself jumping to conclusions that aren’t really supported by real events, take the hint. Maybe you should go see someone who understands a thing or two about it. Please don’t take this as an insult, I really am worried.

      3. @peartree I delete or others? I got ganged up the other day when I was a bit gloomy. Day 1 Ferrari is not ahead as usual and on softer rubber. My gloomy prediction is coming true.

        1. @xiasitlo ups I meant to tag your tag to my comment above.

    6. Is Sirotkin’s time accurate? How can he be over 20s slower than Stroll with 28 laps completed?

      1. @mtlracer
        Sirotkin probably only ran after the rain started to fall, so the lap delta is due to the wet track.

      2. @mtlracer, it’s accurate in the sense that was the fastest time that he set, but he was not trying to set a proper lap time. As Oople notes, he went out in far worse conditions than most other drivers, since Sirotkin went out when it was pelting down with rain, and it seems that he was mainly focussing on other items such as constant speed runs – so, in that sense, his lap times aren’t representative of his performance.

      3. @mtlracer You know a bit of golf. In golf there’s an handicap system. Williams is still calculating how fast they can let Sirotkin be and still not beat a stroll.

    7. Sirotkin already 22 seconds off the pace, proving his pay driver stature ;)

      On a real though. I think the halo’s look okay from the side. From the front they’re a completely travesty and look awful, but from the side it’s not too bad.

    8. So the Honda is now a reliable engine and?! #AlonsoLuck

    9. Is STR ready to compete in the next tier championship?

      This were last year’s tiers:
      1. Contenders: MB,Fe, RB
      2. Best of the rest: FI, Renault, Williams
      3. Competitors: STR, McLaren, Haas, Sauber.

      Swap STR for Williams?

      1. Mmm, don’t know, also last year mclaren speed wise could be put in the 2nd tier, they just had awful reliability for honda but sometimes even due to their own fault.

        This year we could have a top tier which could be very variable depending if teams get their car right, we could have:

        1) mercedes, ferrari, red bull, mclaren
        2) renault, force india, toro rosso
        3) haas, sauber, williams

        That’s assuming renault engine is fairly competitive with the top 2, mclaren’s chassis is similar to red bull, honda engine is decent and williams car isn’t better than last year, since their drivers are what they are.

        But if renault engine isn’t nearly at the level of the top 2, mclaren’s chassis isn’t as good as they say (and I think there was some doubt), honda engine isn’t as good as renault and williams’ car is improved we could also have something like this:

        1) mercedes, ferrari
        2) red bull, mclaren
        3) renault, force india, williams
        4) haas, sauber, toro rosso

    10. That awkward moment where the Honda starts to work like a clock (at least so far)

      1. Lol ya as long as every race tops out at 5C for a daytime high:)

    11. Remember pre-season testing in 2015, when the Renault PU was absolutely bulletproof in the Caterham, but hardly ever survived more than 10 laps in a Red Bull or Toro Rosso? That’s an example we should keep in mind. A team can always dramatically improve reliability by sacrificing performance.

    12. I expect the outright lap record of 1:18.339 (set in an in-season test in 2008) to be beaten at some point during this pre-season testing.

      1. @jerejj, if the weather really is as bad as is expected over the coming days and weeks – there’s even the possibility of snowstorms overnight on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning – then I think that it’s unlikely that time will be beaten.

        1. There is a rumour that this weeks testing program will be extended into Friday because of the weather. Unconfirmed.

        2. maybe next week!

        3. @anon I’m not expecting snow actually to fall on the ground and stay on it. I’d be surprised if it actually did considering how rare it is to get snow anywhere in Spain.

          1. @jerejj, from what I can see, snow showers have been recorded in that part of Spain in late February over the past 15 or so years, and the current predictions would see the overnight temperatures drop down to -1ºC at times. I wouldn’t expect thick snow, but wouldn’t be surprised if a small amount of snow were to settle given that even milder climates are experiencing snow right now (such as in Rome, where snow is now settling there).

    13. I must admit to being completely stunned by the number of laps most teams, particularly the non-Mercedes powered ones turned.

      Mind you at this point we don’t have any indication as to whether they’re actually running them anywhere near full power and I’d assume given the cool conditions that cooling shouldn’t have been an issue.

      Nice to see though that none of the Renault or Honda PU’s ended up a smoking mess back in the garages as has been the case over the past few seasons so there’s got to be some hope of a better season.

    14. Amazing how after a few hours of testing the “knowledgeable” race fans are already drawing comparisons between McLaren and Torro Honda and predicting who will be competitive and not.
      It’s almost as if most of the knowledgeable fans have given up on F1 and all that’s left is a mass of clueless speculators who don’t know a halo from a wheel nut.
      Good humor at least.

      1. Aside from it being the very first test session of the season, I would have thought LH saying it was too cold to judge the new car would have been enough.

    15. I’m one that is looking at certain things as a good sign.

      Forget about lap times, forget about a lot of things. Pay attention to the number of laps turned. Granted McLaren had issues, it is good seeing them get some laps in unlike the last few years where they struggled with the engine that it affected their first testing session. Torro Roso getting a good number of laps in by days end gives some hope that they may make it to Australia with a decent shot of having a good showing with their new partnership with Honda.

      Lets see how things progress.

      1. +1, hoping that ALL teams arrive in Melbourne and can practice successfully, qualify without issues and race closer than we’ve seen in the last few years.

    16. @Keith do you have data for longest stint and each fastest lap on each stint? Maybe we can drawn more line with that data

    Comments are closed.