MONTMELO, Spain – Formula One pre-season testing started on Monday at 9:00 am (0800 GMT) at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
Monday’s testing featured the highly-anticipated public reveal of the new 2018 Formula One race cars from teams Toro Rosso, Force India and Haas on a cold morning, with temperatures at just four degrees Celsius.
“I am really looking forward to begin this new season and enter a new era for our team, working together with Honda,” Torro Rosso principal Franz Tost said, according to the official Formula One website.
Honda is furnishing Torro Rosso’s STR13 car with its power unit this year, after parting ways with McLaren.
“We have two accomplished rookies (Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley) for the 2018 season,” Tost explained. “I’m convinced that if we provide them with a competitive car, they will be able to perform at very high levels.”
Honda’s chief officer for brand and communication operations, Katsuhide Moriyama, said he was pleased with how the new partners had “learned to work very well together, developing the STR13 chassis and RA618H power unit package over the short winter months.”
A total of 10 teams are to participate in the pre-season testing, which is to take place through March 1.
Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon also unveiled their new VJM11 in bright pink livery, and the team’s chief operating officer, Otmar Szafnauer, affirmed he was not worried about a repeat of last year’s tensions between the two drivers, saying “I think they’ve come into their own maturity.”
“I’m quite confident that they will race respectfully, competitively, but for the good of the team.”
American team Haas showed off their new VF-18 car, which employs a Ferrari power unit and transmission, first hitting the track with driver Romain Grosjean behind the wheel, to be followed by Kevin Magnussen on Tuesday.
Expectations on Monday morning were high, both for the start of the preseason and for the staging of two Spanish drivers on their home soil, Carlos Sainz (Renault) and Fernando Alonso (McLaren).