Sebastian Vettel got his burgeoning career as a Ferrari driver off to an impressive start as he set the pace on the first day of F1 testing in Jerez.

The German kept his running to a minimum in the morning, but was busier in the afternoon, springing to the top of the timesheets at the half-way mark to depose initial pace setter Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.

Driving the SF15-T for the first time, the four-time champion improved the benchmark once again around an hour later, finishing the day with a best lap of 1min 22.620secs, a tenth ahead of his rivals.

Related Articles

Leading the competition was Marcus Ericsson in the new-look Sauber, the Swede improving in the final hour to put himself in range of his Ferrari-powered counterpart on a productive day that yielded 73 laps.

Having led the way in the morning, Rosberg was the busiest driver on track in the Mercedes as he focused on long runs, the German completing a remarkable 156 laps - more than two grands prix distances - without any noticeable problems. He was half a second shy of the top spot, but was lapping consistently.

Though quick when on track, Daniel Ricciardo's progress was hampered by technical issues on his new 'camo' liveried RB11, with a battery problem and power unit issue limiting him to just 35 laps.

Despite missing much of the morning, Williams' Valtteri Bottas turned in 72 laps, while Carlos Sainz hit problems in the final hour to finish the day sixth best in the Toro Rosso.

Meanwhile, McLaren-Honda's much anticipated debut ended with Fernando Alonso completing just six laps as 'niggling' issues consigned the MP4-30 behind the pit garage for the majority of the day.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

The Ferrari of 2015 is a totally different car to last years, pretty much it has been completely redesigned.

Anyone who follows the sport closely ought to look at all the news regarding updates and who has done what to their cars for this year.

I would say without a shadow of a doubt Ferrari have been the busiest of them all, they have redesigned that awful nose & a good job too, then they have redesigned the back end completely, then there is the power unit, that has been redesigned too, this is the biggest area for them as last year they was hugely down on power, I'm going to be very interested on what the fastest speed traps are this year.

And then there is the energy recovery system, apparently this is another area where Ferrari was very weak and had a poor design which is now much improved, steering wise they kept the same as last year as they said they had no issue with it.

So I think there is every reason to have some belief in what they have done for this year, we should al