Nobody doubted Red Bull and Renault would recover, but the big story on the first day of the 2014 Formula 1 season proper was the massive stride the team has taken.
A simple glance at the timesheets, on which Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest, three quarters of a second slower than pacesetter Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes, made that much clear. But even that shrouds the possibility that Red Bull's recovery is even more impressive than that.
To nobody's great surprise, Mercedes was the strongest team today both on single-lap and long-run pace. Hamilton's mark of 1m29.625s - which like all the fastest times was set on the soft-compound Pirellis, which at their peak are 2-2.3s faster than the mediums - put him half a second quicker than the best non-Mercedes, Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.
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Edd Straw is Editor-in-Chief of Autosport, overseeing both print and digital versions of the brand. Edd has worked for Autosport since joining as a junior reporter in 2002. He became Editor in November 2014, having previously worked as National Editor, News Editor and Grand Prix Editor.
Originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, he joined Autosport shortly after graduating from university. He went on to cover a wide range of categories from club motorsport to the World Touring Car Championship and Le Mans to Formula 3 before switching to F1 full-time at the 2008 French Grand Prix. He continues to cover a range of international events in his position as Editor-in-Chief.
In his spare time, he was formerly a club racer whose abilities did not match his enthusiasm in a variety of categories.