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Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22
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Formula 1 Barcelona February Testing
Analysis

How the new F1 cars look from the Barcelona trackside

It's still very early days as the all-new 2022 Formula 1 cars get accustomed to the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona for testing, but already some interesting deductions can be made from watching trackside. Here's what Autosport discovered from the first morning observing F1's brave new era

Lando Norris has an accolade that no one can take away – he was first out of the pits to complete the first official testing lap in the 2022 generation of Formula 1 cars. At 9am precisely at the Barcelona track, the McLaren driver led Mercedes’ George Russell out onto the 2.9-mile track under blue, clear skies.

That will of course count for absolutely nothing. And it remains notable because this test – and to be clear, it absolutely is one, despite being labelled a ‘shakedown’ by F1 – is the first time the new machines can be properly studied on-track by outside observers. The restrictions on running for shakedowns and filming days don’t apply – it’s just the public that has been shut out. With no rolling TV coverage as was previously the case until the second test in Bahrain next month, this event was billed as the chance for teams to iron out early, and potentially embarrassing, niggles away from extra prying eyes – beyond those of the assembled and privileged media.

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