Marussia's Max Chilton set a surprise fastest time on the first day of the in-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
After a wet morning, conditions improved throughout the afternoon before Chilton bolted on a set of super-soft tyres in the final five minutes to clock the best time of the day. The tyre choice means Chilton's position in the standings is not really representative of the back marker team's pace, but the Marussia managed to go 0.2s quicker than second fastest Charles Pic, whose Lotus was fitted with soft tyres. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was third fastest, just a fraction slower than Pic, but using medium tyres.
The wet morning limited running early on but allowed Pirelli to test its 2015 intermediate tyres with Sauber, which was doing tyre-specific testing on Tuesday along with Toro Rosso. The drizzle had stopped by midday and the sun started to break through in the afternoon to dry and warm the track.
The day was interspersed with red flags, first with Kimi Raikkonen causing stopping on track due to an oil leak and engine problem before Jean Eric Vergne's Toro Rosso stopped with a power unit problem. Raikkonen eventually returned to the track after 6 hours and 39 minutes in the garage and on his first flying lap went second fastest. He ended the day fourth fastest using soft tyres, but only after a trip into the Turn 4 gravel trap with an hour remaining.
Red Bull test driver Sebastien Buemi got his first taste of the RB10, but suffered a gearbox issue and could only go 10th fastest overall. Kamui Kobayashi caused the final red flag of the day when he crashed his Caterham in the last hour of the session, damaging the front right corner of the car.
Barcelona Test - Day 1
1. Max Chilton Marussia 1:26.434 60 laps 2. Charles Pic Lotus 1:26.661 70 laps 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.674 79 laps 4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.965 21 laps 5. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:27.724 52 laps 6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:27.727 53 laps 7. Felipe Massa Williams 1:27.756 55 laps 8. Jenson Button McLaren 1:28.333 74 laps 9. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:30.101 72 laps 10. Sebastien Buemi Red Bull 1:31.440 54 laps 11. Giedo Van der Garde Sauber 1:31.783 86 laps