Watch: Brendon Hartley's 2018 Toro Rosso F1 car unveiled
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Kiwi Brendon Hartley has helped unveil the 2018 Toro Rosso Formula 1 car in Barcelona.
Hartley, who will contest his first full season as a Formula 1 driver this year, drove the car at a short track debut last week in wet conditions at Misano but helped the team showcase the Honda-powered car to media on the opening day of Formula 1's first official four-day test in the Spanish city.
With a similar livery to that which ran on the car last season the Toro Rosso is certainly one of the more striking looks on the grid.
Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly, left, and Brendon Hartley pose for photos during the Toro Rosso team official presentation. Photo / AP
Hartley will drive the car on day one (overnight) and three of the test with his teammate Pierre Gasly taking the wheel on day two and four.
The test will provide the first gauge around how the Honda power unit will impact the team's chances in 2018.
Encouraging signs in Brendon Hartley's 2018 debut
Brendon Hartley steers his car during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Catalunya racetrack. Photo / AP
New Zealand's Brendon Hartley posted the eighth fastest time on the first day of Formula 1's first winter test in Barcelona.
In an encouraging sign for Toro Rosso Hartley ran 93 laps in his new Honda-powered car and set faster times than the Williams of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin, the Haas of Romain Grosjean, Force India's Nikita Mazepin and the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Hartley was five one-hundredths of a second slower than 2017 champion Lewis Hamilton.
He ran 72 laps in the morning session – the most of any driver – before afternoon rain affected the latter part of the day and restricted teams.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest time of the day, 0.17s faster than the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest in the Ferrari, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg's Renault and Fernando Alonso in the McLaren.
Alonso had an entertaining day. He recorded a purple sector (fastest time of the day) before losing control of his McLaren and bringing out a red flag after being caught in the gravel.
Toro Rosso boss Franz Tost was pleased with how the Honda-powered Toro Rosso performed on the first day.
"I don't see any problems, the power unit is working quite well and I am convinced Honda has the capacity and the know-how to develop the engine from to a level that we will be there, where we expect to be and this is how it is," Tost said.
"I see it as very, very positive because Honda have made a lot of progress in the last months on the reliability side as well as the performance side, so we are looking forward to the season."
Hartley's teammate Pierre Gasly will run the car on day two overnight before Hartley jumps back in the drivers' seat on day three.
-Dale Budge, NZ Herald