With the first race of the Formula 1 calendar closing in fast, teams are now busy preparing and testing their cars at the pre-season testing currently being held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. So far, it looks as if Ferrari has made a strong return to Formula 1 with Sebastian Vettel setting the fastest lap in his new Ferrari SF90 challenger during the first day of pre-season testing.
Vettel was the fastest driver of the day after managing to set a 1:18.161 lap around the circuit, putting Ferrari on the top of the board. Aside from being the fastest driver, the German also completed the most number of laps around the circuit, completing a total of 169 laps. During his outing, Vettel had a mostly clean run having only had a minor spin later in the day.
Following close behind Vettel was McLaren's new driver, Carlos Sainz with a 1:18.558 lap. Meanwhile, Haas driver Romain Grosjean finished in third with a 1:19.159 lap despite having only done a total of 65 laps. Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen closes out the top five with Verstappen setting a 1:19.426 and Raikkonen with a 1:19.462 lap.
So where are the defending champion Mercedes-AMG currently on the board? After the first day of testing, Valtteri Bottas currently sits in 8th place with a 1:20.127 lap. Meanwhile, reigning driver's champion Lewis Hamilton is in 9th after only setting a 1:20.135 lap. Unlike Vettel however, Hamilton only did 81 laps around the track.
As this is still pre-season testing, it is highly likely that teams are not showing the full capability of their cars just yet. However, the number of laps Vettel completed during the first day of testing does show how eager he his to practice and hopefully win the championship once more.