Formula 1 Testing, Day 2, Morning report: Hamilton causes red flags as Aston Martin face gearbox woes 

Daniel Ricciardo finished the morning session at the top of the standings. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images.
Daniel Ricciardo finished the morning session at the top of the standings. Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images.
Charanjot Singh

The second day of the Formula 1 pre-season test was business as usual for most teams. Alpine and McLaren posted headline times while Red Bull accumulated significant mileage on the car.

Fernando Alonso's seamless Formula 1 return

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso made a seamless return to Formula 1 and was among the fastest runners on the track. Fernando Alonso is known for his blistering pace and consistency. He finished the morning session second in the standings after 60 laps of running.

Karun Chandhok, a Formula 1 commentator, spoke about Alonso's testing performance so far:

"Fernando Alonso has been metronomic, lap after lap. I think you could put a pound coin on his turning point into the apex and his exit, and he'd hit it every single lap. It is incredible, the consistency that he's got driving that Alpine."

Daniel Ricciardo gets first taste of the McLaren

New McLaren recruit Daniel Ricciardo got his first shot at driving the 2021 challenger. He finished the morning session at the top of the standings after putting together 52 laps with the team. McLaren have been deceptively quick in the early stages of the season and it will be interesting to keep an eye on the Woking-based squad over the rest of the Formula 1 season.

Aston Martin hits trouble with gearbox issues

Mimicking yesterday's Mercedes, Aston Martin suffered a gearbox issue that left Sebastian Vettel in the pits for most of the morning session.

Sky F1 reporter Ted Kravitz reported the incident was similar to the failure Mercedes suffered yesterday. Aston Martin is a customer team to Mercedes and shares a lot of the same components. The incident capped Aston Martin's morning session lap count at nine, with Vettel finishing last in the standings.

Lewis Hamilton beaches the Mercedes

Mercedes' testing program has now been cut short by two separate incidents. Reigning Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion Lewis Hamilton beached his Mercedes at the gravel near turn 13. The spin by the world champion stopped any testing momentum the team was trying to generate. Speaking about the incident, Karun Chandhok said:

"It's really rare to see a mistake from Lewis, especially at testing. I'm trying to think of all the pre-season tests I've been to in the last five, six years, and I can't think of one time he has been in the gravel."
"You see the odd thing where he goes off in the run-off area or something - but everyone does that. To see him cause a red flag, I can't think of a moment like that."

It has been an eventful start for the reigning Formula 1 drivers' and constructors' champions.

Business as usual for the rest

The other teams on the Formula 1 grid completed their testing programs without major problems. Carlos Sainz Jr. completed 56 laps in the morning session with his new team, Ferrari. It remains difficult to judge Ferrari's engine improvements since the cars have not been running in higher engine modes.

Meanwhile, Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda made his official entry into the sport. The new Alpha Tauri driver was impressive as he completed 57 laps. Antonio Giovinazzi put up a mammoth 73 laps for Alfa Romeo in the session. Nicholas Latifi finished the session fourth in the standings.

What's your favorite race of the 2022 season so far? Tell us in the comments below..

Edited by Utathya Ghosh


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