The day F1 fans have been waiting for months to enjoy has arrived, as testing for the 2017 season got underway at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.
All 10 teams competing this season were in action, which will give the first indication as to who will be the leaders and also-rans in the coming months.
Mercedes have dominated recent years, and look set to do so again as Valtteri Bottas – brought in to replace retired world champion Nico Rosberg – initially went fastest on the first morning.
Valtteri Bottas impressed on his first turn out in the Mercedes in 2017 testing in Barcelona
It was a nightmare for Daniel Riccardo however, who was towed to the pits under a sheet
The first official testing session of the 2017 season was held on Monday at Circuit de Catalunya
The Finn posted a best lap of one minute and 23.370 seconds, only for a marginally faster time to be posted by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Bottas covered 79 laps – the race distance in Barcelona is just 66 – a stark comparison to some who strugled to complete more than a handful.
Bottas’ team mate, Lewis Hamilton, took to the track later on Monday.
It was a nightmare start for some however, particularly for Red Bull, who saw Daniel Ricciardo’s car taken back to the pits under a black tarpaulin and on the back of a truck after a mechanical malfunction. He was later able to return to the track for teh afternoon session.
McLaren’s pre-season campaign also got off to the worst possible start as Fernando Alonso completed just one lap before stopping with an engine issue.
Fernando Alonso completed just one lap before stopping with an engine issue
Ricciardo managed four laps before his shark-finned car broke down on turn four
Ricciardo returns to the pits after his morning of testing was cut very short
Sebastian Vettel impressed in his Ferrari on Monday morning with the…