BARCELONA, Spain -- Romain Grosjean set the fastest time on the first morning of this week's two-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
The test is one of two in-season sessions attended by all F1 teams and will run on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. It takes place just two days after Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix at the same circuit and a selection of regular names were back in action as well as various test and reserve drivers. Under the regulations, two of the four in-season test days must be driven by drivers with less than two grands prix of experience -- hence the mixed field for Tuesday morning's running.
Grosjean's best effort was set on the hyper-soft compound tyre but with a lap time of 1:18.449 was 0.614s slower than the lap that secured him 10th on the grid in Saturday's qualifying session. After crashing out of Sunday's grand prix on the opening lap, the Haas driver completed 73 laps on Tuesday morning, which is more than a full race distance at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Lewis Hamilton was second fastest, 0.094s off Grosjean, and set his best lap on the ultra-soft compound tyres. As well as updates to the tops of the sidepods, the Mercedes was fitted with a new rain light layout on Tuesday morning, featuring two strips built in to the end plates of the rear wing. The design is being tested with the FIA as a possible way to improve visibility of the rain light in wet conditions.
Spanish Grand prix podium finisher Max Verstappen was third fastest for Red Bull with 75 laps in the RB14. He was 0.758s off Grosjean's best time but 0.659s clear of his former teammate Carlos Sainz in the Renault. Stoffel Vandoorne was fifth fastest for McLaren ahead of F2 driver Nicholas Latifi in the Force India and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari.
Former F2 driver Oliver Rowland got his first taste of a Formula One car in his new role as Williams 'young driver', completing 61 laps in the car. Rowland took on the role, which includes simulator driving, at the start of this season after finishing third in last year's F2 championship.
Lando Norris was driving a second McLaren as part of a Pirelli tyre test in Barcelona. The F2 championship leader notched up 76 laps in a run plan provided by Pirelli, but his car was not fitted with the significant front end upgrade that appeared on both McLarens over the race weekend and Vandoorne's MCL33 on Tuesday. Norris will hand the Pirelli test car over to McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey in the afternoon.
Ferrari affiliated driver Antonio Giovinazzi was testing for Sauber on Tuesday and finished the session 10th ahead of Mercedes-backed George Russell in the Force India. Like his F2 rival Norris, Russell was conducting a Pirelli tyre on Tuesday and notched up 71 laps before lunch. Sean Geleal, another F2 driver, was at the wheel of the Toro Rosso and finished the session in 12th place.
Times at 13:00
1. Grosjean, Haas, 1:18.449, 73 laps
2. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:18.543, 71 laps
3. Verstappen, Red Bull, 1:19.207, 75 laps
4. Sainz, Renault, 1:19.866, 56 laps
5. Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:19.874, 31 laps
6. Latifi, Force India, 1:20.088, 61 laps
7. Vettel, Ferrari, 1:20.717, 78 laps
8. Rowland, Williams, 1:20.939, 61 laps
9. Norris, McLaren (P), 1:20.997, 76 laps
10. Giovinazzi, Sauber, 1:21.214, 67 laps
11. Russel, Force India, 1:21.478, 71 laps
12. Gelael, Toro Rosso, 1:21.935, 45 laps