Raikkonen beaches newly-launched Alfa Romeo

Date published: February 18 2019

Kimi Raikkonen’s pre-season did not get off to the best start as five minutes after the green flag, he brought out the first red.

After months of waiting, Formula 1 woke to blue skies but chilly conditions as everyone prepared for the first official day of testing.

Haas kicked off the day’s action, albeit in the pit lane and not on the track, as they took the covers off their 2019 car, the VF-19.

That was followed by Alfa Romeo’s official unveiling of the C38, which will be driven by Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi this season.

9am, green flag, and Valtteri Bottas is the first man out in the Mercedes.

It was a tough start to testing for Raikkonen in the newly-launched Alfa Romeo as just five minutes in he was stuck in the gravel.

That brought out the first red flag of the pre-season.

Raikkonen returned to the pits but without his car. Ooops. That was returned a few minutes later on the back of a flatbed truck.

Although it was noted prior to testing that the wings on the Ferrari SF90 were vastly different to their rivals’, this photo is all about the aero sensors. Sebastian Vettel was driving the car on Day One.

Romain Grosjean was really happy to be back in the car.

There was a first look at Renault’s RS19 as the team only launched the livery last week. Nico Hulkenberg has the honour of putting the first laps on the new car.

Racing Point’s RP19 hit the track. It was a first sighting of the Mercedes-powered car with Sergio Perez behind the wheel. Lance Stroll will get a run later.

It wasn’t only new cars that were being tested, nor new drivers, as McLaren trailed a new tyre marker system that takes the mechanic out of the equation.

Romain Grosjean brought out the second red of the morning as his VF-19 ground to a halt at the final chicane. Haas reported that the car lost fuel pressure.

P1 for Sebastian Vettel…

Lunch break over. It was time to see the five-time World Champion in action for the first time after taking over duties from Valtteri Bottas.

McLaren’s afternoon did not get off the best of starts, however, with Carlos Sainz “losing drive” just beyond the end of the pit lane exit and forcing a red flag.

But unlike seasons past, it was just a short delay for the Woking team.

Hamilton wasn’t the only driver racking up his first laps of the season on Monday afternoon. Step forward Daniel Ricciardo at his new team Renault.

Vettel, meanwhile, continued to quietly set the opening statement of pre-season as he completed more than two Grand Prix distances at the Circuit de Catalunya.

And still had the quickest time to boot once the chequered flag waved to signal the end of the first day’s running…

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.