Lewis Hamilton has set the pace, finishing top of the timesheets at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. However rivals Ferrari did not run therefore it came as little to surprise to many that the young Briton took the top spot.
Hamilton finished a full six tenths of a second ahead of ex-team-mate Fernando Alonso who, despite causing a red flag near the end of the day, showed that Renault s new R28 has a lot of potential. The BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica finished in third, indicating that the team have managed to get the balance issues that affected them at earlier tests under control.
The biggest surprise of the day came from Giancarlo Fisichella who brought the Force India car home in fourth place.
McLaren test driver Gary Paffett had some fun in the McLaren, causing three red flags during the day. The first flag was caused when he stopped on-track, and the latter two flags were caused after he span out.
Nelson Piquet had a solid test, finishing in sixth place, although the car seems a little temperamental at the moment he stopped twice on track with mechanical problems. Honda s new car appears to be little improvement on last season s disappointment with Barrichello and Wurz bringing up the rear of the field.
Unofficial times for Day 1 Testing in Barcelona (1 February 2008)
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.263 82 2. Alonso Renault 1:22.889 61 3. Kubica BMW-Sauber 1:22.983 65 4. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:23.015 98 5. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 1:23.270 52 6. Paffett McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.349 45 7. Piquet Renault 1:23.367 44 8. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.387 89 9. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:23.453 12 10. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:23.491 60 11. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:23.547 52 12. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.836 54 13. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:23.955 35 14. Barrichello Honda 1:24.125 53 15. Wurz Honda 1:26.975 26