Bird fastest in first day of testing, top ten separated by half a second

Envision Virgin Racing's Sam Bird went fastest in the first day of testing. The Brit outpaced the reigning champ while the top ten finished the day less than half a second apart. 

Sam Bird top the times for the first day of testing with Envision Virgin Racing after setting a 1:15.570 lap. The British driver was followed by BMW i Andretti Motorsport's new hire Max Guenther, with a time of 1:15.663. The German driver's time set during the morning (1:15.926) remained unchallenged for the majority of the session with the top ten all finishing within half a second of each other.  
Close behind was DS Techeetah's new hire Antonio Felix da Costa, who topped his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne's time with a 1:15.681. The reigning champ followed in fifth with a time of 1:15.798 while Panasonic Jaguar Racing's frontman Mitch Evans sat between the two teammates with a time of 1:15.724.   
Mercedes-Benz EQ rookie Nyck de Vires failed to post a lap time for the majority of the session before going out with minutes to spare and setting a 1:17.654 lap The Dutch driver, fresh from winning the Formula 2 Championship, suffered technical difficulties in the morning when his car had to be recovered on track.  

For Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler's Lucas di Grassi, the session saw him rank 12th fastest with a 1:16.140 lap time. The former champ remains with the Audi squad for another season as he aims for his second title. 

Throwing up another Red Flag, Panasonic Jaguar Racing's James Calado stopped at the pit exit and returned to the garage for the second time today. The British rookie partners championship hopeful Mitch Evans this season. 

Only five drivers - Nico Muller, Jerome d'Ambrosio, Edoardo Mortara, Neel Jani and Stoffel Vandoorne failed to better their times set during the morning session while 16 drivers posted times all within a second of each other.  

All 24 cars and drivers will be back out on track for the second day of testing tomorrow. Keep it locked to the pre-season testing hub for all the latest news and live timing.