Pastor Maldonado takes Lotus to the top of the times in Barcelona

Pastor Maldonado has ended day one of the first Barcelona test at the top of the times.

The Lotus driver finished a tenth of a second clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen after a late lap saw him move up the order. His lap-time was two tenths of a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s pole lap from the 2014 Spanish Grand Prix. The Lotus driver’s day did not go without a hitch, however, after his car broke down causing two red flags.

Elsewhere, Hamilton’s day came to an early end due to a fever. Mercedes test driver Pascal Wehrlein was re-called from Force India duty to stand in for the reigning world champion as it was reported that Nico Rosberg was also unwell due to an inflamed neck nerve. Wehrlein ended the day eighth and ninth fastest with his Force India time ahead of the Mercedes. Hamilton managed just 11 laps before calling it a day. Wehrlein’s running was compromised by a fuel system problem.

Sergio Perez was called into early action for Force India due to Wehrlein’s return to Mercedes, and the Mexican completed 34 laps on his 2015 pre-season testing debut. Force India had chosen to sit out the first test and are running with their 2014 car at this test. His lap-time put him fourth fastest. Daniel Ricciardo had a solid day of running for Red Bull – who continued to run the camouflage livery on the RB11 – completing 59 laps. It took a while for Red Bull to get a lap-time on the board and they spent the day running a number of short runs rather than a longer run. Max Verstappen completed most laps of anyone on a solid day of running for Toro Rosso.

One of the Jerez pacesetters – Felipe Nasr – had a mixed day including an incident between him and Susie Wolff. He set the fastest lap of the morning session, getting Sauber off to another good start. Both cars suffered significant damage – with rear wing damage for the Sauber – but both teams were able to get both cars repaired and sent out again before the day ended. McLaren had to end their day after a faulty seal on the MGU-K meant that they had to change the power unit. The problem could re-occur during Fernando Alonso’s running tomorrow as a solution will not be ready until Saturday. Jenson Button managed 21 laps before his day came to an end in the morning. Raikkonen spent most of the time at the top of the times before being dislodged by Maldonado, as Ferrari continued their strong start to pre-season testing.

The times after the first day of running were:

  1. Pastor Maldonado – 1:25.011 – 69 laps
  2. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:25.167  – 74 laps
  3. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:25.547 – 59 laps
  4. Sergio Perez – 1:26.636 – 34 laps
  5. Felipe Nasr – 1:27.307 – 79 laps
  6. Max Verstappen – 1:27.900 – 94 laps
  7. Jenson Button – 1:28.182 – 21 laps
  8. Pascal Wehrlein – 1:28.329 – 32 laps*
  9. Pascal Wehrlein – 1:28.489 – 48 laps**
  10. Susie Wolff – 1:28.906 – 86 laps
  11. Lewis Hamilton – 1:30.429 – 11 laps

* Force India lap-time
** Mercedes lap-time

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