Fernando Alonso tops the times sheets on the first day of Silverstone testing
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 12, 2016 Updated: 1:22 PM
Mclaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso took the top spot on the first day of this week's Silverstone test.
Alonso finished with a time of 1:31.290 in the morning session on Pirelli super-soft tires. He also completed an additional 50 laps in the wet, in the afternoon session.
Esteban Ocon clocked in the most mileage of the day with a total of 123 laps in both dry and wet conditions. Mercedes run plan consisted of medium tires when the track was dry in the morning.
Ocon’s testing duties will continue during the second day of the test on Wednesday to comply with regulations that they must use a driver with less than three races experience to complete at least two of the four days of in-season testing available to teams.
“It felt great to drive the car. It took me a few runs to get used to it, as driving a Formula One car is still new to me – especially here at Silverstone as it has a few high-speed corners. But, at the end, I was really close to the limit, so that was a really good feeling. We needed to make most of the early weather, as we knew it would rain in the afternoon, so we planned most of our running in the morning. The afternoon was a bit tricky but we still managed to keep going and were able to finish our programme,” said Ocon.
Williams F1 development driver Alex Lynn finished third fastest and was 1.6s off Ocon with of 38 laps in the dry before completing a further 16 laps in the wet. He will hand things over to Valtteri Bottas on Wednesday.
Charles Leclerc came in fourth fastest as he made his debut for Ferrari. Leclerc completed just 19 laps over the course of the day, with only two set in the wet conditions in the afternoon. Kimi Raikkonen will take over on Wednesday behind the wheel of the SF16-H.
Nikita Mazepin made his debut with Force India and finished was fifth fastest, racking up 35 laps in the morning but chose not to go out in the afternoon due to a lack of wet weather tire.
F1 American hopeful Santino Ferrucci made his F1 debut for Haas, racked a total of 55 laps on the first of his two days behind the wheel. Ferrucci is a development driver for the American team and also races in the GP3 series.
“It was great to get out in the car this morning, especially to run over 300 kilometers. The Haas VF-16 was a very different experience from my GP3 car, and a lot of fun to drive. Unfortunately, there was a lot of rain in the afternoon. We didn’t really want to run too much in the wet, especially with the aero testing we had planned. Hopefully we’ll get better weather tomorrow and we can achieve all our goals,” said Ferrucci.
Manor’s Rio Haryanto finished ninth as the team continued to develop their latest parts, Haryanto was 0.944s faster than Renault’s Sergey Sirotkin. Pierre Gasly finished at the bottom of the timesheets after his car suffered an electrical issue that kept him in the garage for much of the morning when the track was dry.
However, Gasly did manage to complete the latest test of the Halo head protection device which Red Bull fitted to its car for the first time.