The first of two days of testing at Silverstone started with Fernando Alonso fastest in a field which saw no less than seven ‘young’ drivers.
On a day of contrasts, the time set by Fernando Alonso in the morning remained for the rest of the day, with rain coming in for the afternoon session. The afternoon also saw a strange incident where a plank of wood came off a gantry and landed on the circuit – it was off the racing line and nobody was on the circuit at the time but did bring out the red flag to recover.
McLaren running the super soft tyre, not used for the British Grand Prix weekend was a second and a half faster today than the race-winning Mercedes team , although they were using the medium tyre – two compounds harder. Mercedes are using Esteban Ocon for testing this week, sharing his time with his reserve role with Renault. Williams would finish the day third, today running their development driver Alex Lynn.
Charles Leclerc was driving for Ferrari today, although only completed a few laps in the morning to finish the day fourth, from fellow rookie Nikita Mazepin driving for Force India.
Santino Ferrucci also made his Formula One debut for Haas, the first American to drive an American F1 since the 70’s. The GP3 driver was seventh, behind Toro Rosso race driver Carlos Sainz Jr.
Pascal Wehrlein drove a 2014 Mercedes car with development tyres for 2017 in the test, Pirelli hard at work with the development of the new regulation tyres for next season which will be ramped up over the summer in a series of private tests with Mercedes and Ferrari. The German couldn’t drive for the team in normal circumstances as he is no longer a ‘rookie’ according to the regulations with his Manor drive.
His current teammate Rio Haryanto finshed behind him on the day, with Sergey Sirotkin taking the Renault after his deal earlier on in the season. Pierre Gasly finished at the bottom of the pile for Red Bull as they brought their version of the ‘halo’ system, a system in which they are ready to veto for its entry into the sport in 2017.