F1's 2019 season set to get underway with testing in Spain

Image by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

F1's 2019 season set to get underway with testing in Spain

Formula 1

F1's 2019 season set to get underway with testing in Spain


The first pre-season test of the 2019 season is set to get underway on Monday morning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Nine of the teams aim to run on the opening day — the first of two four-day tests in Northern Spain — where the 2019 cars will run in anger for the first time. A number of teams, including Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault, Haas, Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso, have already completed shakedowns during filming days, but were limited to 100km (60 miles) on special Pirelli tires.

Of the remaining three teams — Racing Point, McLaren and Williams — only McLaren has put its 2019 car on display, with the other two releasing renderings while working to ready the cars in time for the start of testing.

Williams has already announced it will not take part in any running on Monday due to delays with its new car, instead aiming to get its program underway on Tuesday morning.

While the first test will see the RP19 and FW42 in the flesh for the first time, Alfa Romeo is also set to unveil its 2019 livery on Monday morning having completed its shakedown on Valentine’s Day in Italy using a special design.

Red Bull also described its shakedown livery as a “one-off,” but it remains to be seen if the team will stick with the livery in pre-season as it has in the past before launching a more conventional race design ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

Testing will take place from 0900-1300 CET (3-7 a.m. ET) and 1400-1800 (8-12 p.m. ET) Monday through Thursday in Barcelona, followed by a four-day break before the second test at the same venue from February 26-March 1.

At present, Monday will see Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel for Mercedes, while Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen open pre-season for Ferrari and Red Bull respectively. The other drivers set to do a full day are Romain Grosjean (Haas), Carlos Sainz (McLaren), Sergio Perez (Racing Point) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), while Renault will split running between Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo on the opening day.