The Mercedes W06 and Williams FW37 were launched this morning to a media scrum that had braved the cold conditions. The launches were predictably short, but revealed the new offerings from Brackley and Grove as light crept over the circuit.
As TJ13 had brought to light exclusively, the Red Bull test car was launched with a special test livery…
A man on a mission, Sebastian Vettel overtook Nico Rosberg to make sure he was out on track first.
There were huge cheers for the Spanish rookie Carlos Sainz Jr as he took to the track earlier. A lot of pressure rests on his shoulders, with a larger than normal crowd in to see him in action.
45 minutes into the session and we were finally treated to the first look at Fernando Alonso back behind the wheel of a McLaren, although a slightly problematic morning has ensued.
It was a cold but still morning in Jerez, as the shakedown for the 2015 season began. A track temperature of less than 10 degrees centigrade limited useful tyre simulation at first, as the new powertrains were put through their paces. The Spanish fans filtered into the stands to see their home heroes, Fernando Alonso and Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr.
So far it has been the Mercedes team that has put the hard laps in, completing 63 laps by 13:00 local time, 4 hours into the day. Daniel Ricciardo was in action for the Red Bull team, as the car rolled out using a camouflage livery which will aid disguising the intricate bodywork at the rear of the car. Is there some Newey genius at work back there?
They had completed more laps in 3 and a half laps of the session on day 1, than they did in the whole of the Jerez test last year. Save for a brief spell of powertrain trouble, signs are positive for the RB11.
Monisha Kaltenborn was in good spirits ahead of the new look Sauber heading out, saying, “We have learned our lessons and are confident for the new season.” However, this confidence may have been short lived after Marcus Ericsson caused the first red flag of the season, spinning into a spiral of tyre smoke before later recovering to the pits.
A steady rise in track temperature and steady air temperature meant it was ideal for testing the new Pirelli tyres. Paul Hembery had spoken of his expectations for the 2015 cars, believing the new tyres will need to be quite different to cope with the heightened power delivery.
The FW37 set about testing its capabilities as it enjoyed a clear track as other teams seemed to stop for a lunch break. However, lap times were slower, with a 1:25.167 down on the 1:23.106 Rosberg set earlier.
And finally, one driver who is not here this week is Max Chilton. The Briton clearly missing Formula One already…
Expect a lot more running this afternoon as track conditions are fantastic for testing!