Daniel Ricciardo secured the top spot for Aston Martin Red Bull Racing as he took to the track for the first time in the opening pre-season test in Barcelona.
Ricciardo ended the day at the top of the timesheets, fastest by 0.178 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas for Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen third for Ferrari.
Despite cold conditions, it was a success for Red Bull, with Ricciardo racing a total of 105 trouble-free laps, more than any other driver.
“That was cold! But apart from that it was good. In the morning when it was dry everything was fine, but in the afternoon the conditions were really tricky,” Ricciardo said.
“It was a good day and we got over 100 laps done, with, I think, one run of 35 laps. So, reliability was solid and hats off to everyone for that.
“It’s nice to see yourself at the top of the timesheets.”
Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott, said the result was an exciting sign of things to come for Ricciardo and the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team in the 2018 season.
“It’s fantastic to see Daniel secure such a great result so early in the year and we can not wait for him to take to the track at the upcoming Formula 1® 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix,” he said.
“Following a hugely successful season in 2017, with Daniel securing a record nine podiums, we look forward to seeing him race on home soil at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit in Melbourne.”
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Head of Race Engineering Guillaume Rocquelin said it was a good start to testing and having a car finish ahead of schedule certainly helped.
“It was a good outing, we got a lot of laps under our belt and we had good reliability. That’s all you can ask for. It is day one and we take nothing for granted, but overall, we’re pretty pleased with what we achieved,” Rocquelin said.
For tickets and more information regarding the Formula 1® 2018 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, visit grandprix.com.au.