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Fans Rejoice – Formula 1 Testing Begins in Barcelona


Get excited rev heads, Formula 1 testing has begun and the season is nearly here!

In an encouraging sign for Aussie Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo who will hit the track in the coming days, his McLaren teammate Lando Norris topped the timesheets on the first day of testing at Barcelona.

Norris, who completed 101 laps during the testing day,  blitzed the field with a time of 1:19.568 and was more than half-a-second faster than the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz who were second and third fastest respectively. 

“I’m really happy to be back behind the wheel. It’s nice to be in the car again and get to push the limit. It’s been good for me to get used to this new car, because I’ve driven the same regulations for my whole F1 career,” Norris said.

Norris said the team gathered a lot of information from testing and it was a positive start for McLaren.

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“It’s nice to have a change and it was a productive day. We learned a lot of things for the team, and we got all the information we wanted to. We can now compare it back to the simulator and the wind tunnel. A good day, and a good start to this test.”

Ricciardo, who admits he prefers racing than winter testing, is excited to hit the track in what will be his 12th Formula 1 campaign and test out his newly-developed MCL36.

“The more years you do, the less excited you are to test and the more excited you are to go racing,” he told reporters.

“It’s definitely the most excited I have been in a while to go winter testing. The curiosity to see what direction teams have gone in and just visually, the cars look really cool.”

“Even stuff like renders compared to real, it’s quite exciting to see the cars on track and how they actually look for the first (time).”

On the first day of pre-season testing, current world champion Max Verstappen completed a mammoth 147 laps which was nearly 700km.

The Red Bull driver said his car felt quick and the testing day was a success.

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“I think the car looks good but the most important thing is that it is fast, and that’s what we are trying to see,” the Dutchman said.

“We needed the mileage to see how the parts held up. Everything worked pretty well, so it was a good start and a positive day.”

Testing will continue in the coming days with more testing planned from March 10-12.

The 23-race Formula 1 season begins on March 18 in Bahrain with the Australian Grand Prix scheduled for April 8 in Melbourne. 

Picture of Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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