Testing has begun for the 2022 F1 Season with the drivers taking to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain to get to know their new cars. McLaren’s Lando Norris was the fastest of this first day of testing as the drivers got to grips with one of the largest regulation changes in F1 history. But Geroge Russel has excited fans as he sets a faster time than Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Norris’ fastest lap was a 1:19.951 on soft tyres, but moments before this lap was set Ferrari had a 1-2 lead. The day ended with Ferrari setting 1:20.165 and 1:20.416 laps on medium tyres with Charles Leclerc being second fastest and Carlos Sainz finishing behind him as third fastest.
Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were fourth and fifth fastest with Russell being the faster of the two with a lap time of 1:20.784 on medium tyres – just over a hundredth of a second faster than Hamilton who was on the same tyres. But despite this maybe surprising result, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said we shouldn’t think too much about these early results.
He said: “We shouldn’t be interpreting too much in lap times but better to start solid.”
It’s also worth noting that Hamilton completed almost 30 fewer laps than Russell, with him spending the morning of the testing day looking out for his teammate and watching his competitors. In an interesting comparison, Max Verstappen of Red Bull completed 147 laps and completed a fastest lap of 1:22.246.
Lewis Hamilton commented on Ferrari’s success during testing:
“You would assume that Ferrari perhaps didn’t do much development of that car and just put everything into this year’s car. So does that mean that they’re several months ahead? Or a team is several months ahead of everyone? We’ll wait and see.”