F1 2018: Pre-season testing day 1: Ricciardo sets early pace as Alonso crashes

(Photo credit: Jose Ma Izquierdo Galiot)

Since November 2017, F1 cars have been silent. The championship over, teams packed up after the end-of-season test at Abu Dhabi and went home.

Whilst the cars were silent, the teams were anything but. Work and development for the 2018 challengers had already begun, and the teams now had nothing to keep them from going full speed ahead. The regulations remained fairly stable for the new season, with the most obvious addition being the halo safety structure. 

New drivers Charles Leclerc and Sergey Sirotkin joined the elite group of racing drivers, and McLaren finally freed themselves from their partnership with Honda, which had given them their least successful period in the team's history. Honda moved to Toro Rosso, with rumours of a future Red Bull deal in the works for 2019, and McLaren took on the much more consistent Renault power units.

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