Mercedes sets the pace in final F1 test

Nico Rosberg set the benchmark on the opening day of the final pre-season test

Nico Rosberg set the benchmark on the opening day of the final pre-season test

Mercedes topped the times for the first time in pre-season testing after an impressive display on the opening day of Formula 1’s final hit-out at Barcelona.

The world champion team split its driving duties between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton with the former clocking a session best 1:23.022s.

Rosberg’s time arrived on soft tyres which was the first time the W07 had run the compound after completing last week’s test on mediums.

Reigning world champion Hamilton jumped in the car for the afternoon session where he completed a race simulation. The Brit ended the hit-out sixth quickest.

Williams emerged as Mercedes’ nearest rivals with Valtteri Bottas just 0.2s adrift of Rosberg, although his best time was set on the new ultra soft tyres.

After an electronic issue in the morning, Fernando Alonso racked up 93 laps with the McLaren driver ending the day third fastest 1.7s shy of the pace.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth for Ferrari but his session was interrupted when the SF16-H came to a halt on track early in the afternoon.

It proved to be an eventful day for Red Bull when a brake casing issue caused a small fire on Daniil Kyat’s RB12.

The Russian returned to the track to complete 69 laps with his best effort placing him fifth fastest.

Sauber’s new C35 enjoyed a trouble-free debut as Felipe Nasr chalked up 103 laps.

The Brazilian ended the day behind Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

Renault’s reliability issues came back to haunt them when Kevin Magnussen stopped on track bringing out the red flags late in the session.

Meanwhile, Haas F1 were limited to only 23 laps as Esteban Gutierrez suffered a fuel system issue which will see the team to work overnight to resolve.

Manor propped up the times with Rio Haryanto, who completed just 45 laps due to an oil leak.

Result Formula 1 Pre-Season Test Day 1, Barcelona 

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:23.022s 82
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:23.229s +0.207s 123
3 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:24.735s +1.713s 93
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:24.836s +1.814s 72
5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:25.049s +2.027s 69
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.051s +2.029s 90
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m25.176s +2.154s 144
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:25.336s +2.314s 121
9 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:25.493s +2.471s 103
10 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:25.760s +2.738s 119
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1:26.661s +3.639s 23
12 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1:27.625s +4.603s 45

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