Alfa Romeo’s Robert Kubica finished as the unexpected pacesetter on the opening day of F1’s final pre-season test – but Max Verstappen was second with Red Bull’s fastest time so far.
Kubica, who has joined Alfa Romeo in a reserve role for 2020, posted the fastest non-Mercedes time of the winter so far during his appearance during the morning. The Pole’s 1:16.942 time came on a short qualifying-style run on Pirelli’s fastest tyres.
Verstappen went second-quickest late on, four tenths adrift, to pip Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.
Red Bull’s day was bookended by apparent technical issues. A suspension problem restricted Alex Albon to 29 laps during the morning before Verstappen ended the afternoon by spinning out at Turn 10 after his RB16 seemed to cut out.
Week One pacesetters Mercedes again ran longest – this time clocking 179 laps – but finished further down the timesheets as they concentrated on longer runs with slower tyres.
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