Formula 1 2020: Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas clock fastest times on opening day of pre-season testing

  • Hamilton set the opening session’s top lap time of 1 minute, 16.976 seconds, after he took over from Bottas behind the wheel of the new Silver Arrow for the 2020 season.

  • Bottas’ best effort came in 0.337 seconds slower.

  • Hamilton enters the season as the clear favorite as he seeks to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles and surpass the German's mark of 91 career wins.

Montmelo: Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas clocked the two fastest times to start Formua One's pre-season testing on Wednesday.

 Formula 1 2020: Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas clock fastest times on opening day of pre-season testing

Lewis Hamilton set the opening session’s top lap time of 1 minute, 16.976 seconds. AP

Hamilton set the opening session’s top lap time of 1 minute, 16.976 seconds, after he took over from Bottas behind the wheel of the new Silver Arrow for the 2020 season. Bottas’ best effort came in 0.337 seconds slower.

Hamilton enters the season as the clear favorite as he seeks to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles and surpass the German's mark of 91 career wins. Hamilton has six titles and 84 wins.

Hamilton and Bottas had nine one-two race finishes last season as they dominated the field to finish first and second in the overall points standings.

In last year’s pre-season testing, the Mercedes cars were slower than the rival Ferraris. But they beat them come the first race of the year and never lost their advantage.

The day’s eight hours of running went smoothly for all teams, with no accidents or breakdowns.

Testing continues on Thursday and Friday at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, home to the Spanish GP, and again from 26-28 February.

The season-opening Australian GP is on 15 March.

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Updated Date: Feb 19, 2020 23:41:07 IST