Ferrari kicked off their 2022 pre-season testing campaign with a particularly strong showing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Charles Leclerc, driving during the morning session, quickly moved to the top of the times – a position that went unchallenged for most of the day.
Finishing as fastest man in the morning, Leclerc's time of 1:20.165 was only beaten in the final 30 minutes of the day as McLaren's Lando Norris moved to the front – using Soft tyres rather than Mediums.
Having had a smooth opening to his testing programme, Leclerc stressed that it's impossible to get a clear read on the pecking order at this stage.
"This is always a really exciting moment at the start of each season," the Monegasque driver said after finishing in second place overall for the day.
"It was the first time that we could really push in our new car and it felt really good to be back behind the wheel. We completed all the tests we wanted to and ran through our full programme smoothly, which is good for a new car.
"I'm looking forward to being back on track again tomorrow. It's impossible to have a clear picture just yet, so we have to stay focused and keep working hard.
"We put in a lot of laps, more than any other team today, and that's a positive we will build on."
Having had the chance to drive Ferrari's new F1-75 in anger for the first time after a short demonstration run at Fiorano last week, as well as a filming day in Barcelona on Tuesday, Leclerc says he is pleased with the feel of the car.
"The initial feeling is not bad, but we shouldn't get carried away by the timesheets today, as these are early days and everyone is still hiding their true form," he said.
Sainz underlines strong Ferrari start
With Leclerc hopping out of the F1-75 at the lunch break to hand over to Carlos Sainz, the Spaniard quickly underlined the pace of the Ferrari as he popped up into second place - behind Leclerc - during the afternoon.
A potential headline Ferrari 1-2 vanished in the final half-hour as Norris set the pace for McLaren, but Ferrari's combined total of 153 laps meant they finished the day with the highest accumulated mileage – always a welcome achievement for a team during testing.
"Today was the first time I was in the car with a proper run plan, unlike the previous times when we basically did shakedowns," Sainz said afterwards.
"We could finally push a bit and start learning from these cars. The timesheet is unimportant at this early stage, but it was very positive to put in a good number of laps and get a real feel at the wheel.
"We still have a lot of work to do but today we could already start feeling some differences from last year, although in terms of getting used to it I don't feel it's going to take too long.
"For sure, the last tenths will be tricky to find, but that is the interesting part!
"Anyway, that's not the aim here in Barcelona as we still have more testing ahead of the first race. [It was] a good first day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
With F1 pre-season testing getting underway in Barcelona this week, our journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look ahead to what to expect.