BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Ferrari finished the opening day of this week's Hungaroring test 2.5s clear of the rest of the field thanks to a lap on hyper-soft tyres from test driver Antonio Giovinazzi.
Giovinazzi had set the fastest time of the morning but improved by over two seconds in the afternoon to a 1:15.648 using the softest tyre in Pirelli's range. The time is a new track record and faster than any lap set over the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, although it should be noted that the hyper-soft compound wasn't on offer and qualifying on Saturday was wet.
A rain storm ahead of the final hour of Tuesday's test limited running towards the end of the day and ensured Giovinazzi's fastest lap remained safe at the top of the timesheets. Marcus Ericsson finished the day second fastest in the Sauber with a 1:18.155 set in the dry, with Brendon Hartley in the Toro Rosso third fastest.
Lando Norris was fourth overall and one of just two drivers to run in wet conditions at the end of the day. Daniel Ricciardo also completed a handful of laps in the Red Bull with wet tyres fitted, but with a drying track there was a limit to how much useful data could be gathered.
Prior to the rain storm, the session was red flagged when Toro Rosso test driver Sean Gelael hit the barriers at Turn 11. The car was one of two Toro Rosso's on track and was being run as a Pirelli test car to help the Italian tyre manufacturer develop its compounds and constructions for 2019. The Toro Rosso returned to the pits minus its front wing and with damage to the left rear suspension, signalling the end of Gelael's day.
Haas is the only team not taking part in this week's test. The American team said it had no new development parts to try out for the second half of the season and felt it would not see the benefit of spending its budget on testing at this stage of the season.
But with no rules on the specification of bodywork teams can run at tests, Haas' rivals Force India and Williams took the opportunity to trial their 2019-specification front wings. New rules for next year will see wider, simplified front wings with revised endplates aimed at increasing the chances of overtaking.
The wings on the Force India and Williams offered the first glance of how F1 cars will look next year and the changes, which permit the wing be two metres wide, were clear to see. Force India completed back to back tests with 2018- and 2019-spec wings while Williams opted to run a series of aero tests on its 2019 wing, including dousing it in bright blue aero paint.
Elsewhere, Mercedes completed just 49 laps with F2 championship leader George Russell at the wheel. A gearbox issue kept the car in the garage in the morning before the weather limited useful running in the afternoon.
Renault also had its programme curtailed after Nico Hulkenberg completed 63 laps in the morning but failed to return to the track in the afternoon due to electrical issue.
The test continues for a second day on Wednesday when Kimi Raikkonen will drive for Ferrari and Robert Kubica will drive for Williams.
1. Giovinazzi - Ferrari - 1:15.648 - 96 laps (Hyper-soft)
2. Ericsson - Sauber - 1:18.155 - 95 laps (Hyper-soft)
3. Hartley - Toro Rosso - 1:19.251 - 126 laps (Ultra-soft)
4. Norris - McLaren - 1:19.294 - 107 laps (Ultra-soft)
5. Russell - Mercedes - 1:19.781 - 49 laps (Super-soft)
6. Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:19.854 - 125 laps (Ultra-soft)
7. Latifi - Force India - 1:19.994 - 103 laps (Soft)
8. Hulkenberg - Renault - 1:20.826 - 63 laps (Medium)
9. Rowland - Williams - 1:20.970 - 65 laps (Soft)
10. Gelael - Toro Rosso - 1:21.451 - 109 laps (2019 tyre)