Why F1 is set to reward the wrong fastest laps in 2019

The last time Formula 1 introduced a major sporting regulation change in the two weeks leading up to the first race of the season, it didn’t go too well.

In 2016, F1 delivered a new qualifying package with an elimination format. Forecast to fail by engineers, the concept was quickly dropped after just two races and the old system was swiftly reinstated.

This developing story is hardly of the same scale as changing the qualifying format, but it is the prospect of a rather surprising change to the rules that is once again being added in winter’s 11th hour.

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Why the timing is perfect for a radical London E-Prix return

Four years on from the last time London played host to a Formula E race, the UK capital will return to the calendar to host the 2019/20 season finale in a radical fashion.

FE has not been a series to follow convention, but it will be one of the first major categories to hold a race in a convention centre, with the new-look London E-Prix to be held on a partially-indoor circuit which will weave around the Royal Victoria Dock and through the ExCeL London building.

Formula E London track map

Image credit: ABB FIA Formula E Championship

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Video: Ferrari and Mercedes separated by 0.003s on final day of testing

Sebastian Vettel may have topped the timesheet on the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing, but Mercedes claimed the day four headlines.

After two weeks of disciplined data gathering, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas unlocked performance from the W10, ending up second and third on the timesheet – Hamilton just 0.003s adrift of Vettel’s benchmark.

Here is a round-up of all the main storylines from the final day of pre-season testing.

 

Video: Ferrari bounces back as Leclerc sets fastest time of testing

Charles Leclerc propelled Ferrari back to the top of the Formula 1 testing timesheet, with a benchmark just 0.006 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton’s 2018 Spanish Grand Prix pole time.

Meanwhile, speculation swells regarding the prospect of Mercedes running two concepts for their W10 during the season…

Here is a round-up of the major stories on the penultimate day of 2019 pre-season testing.

Video: Vettel crashes while McLaren tops the timesheet again

Carlos Sainz Jr topped the timesheet for McLaren on the second day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona.

However, the big story of the day concerned Ferrari after Sebastian Vettel was pitched into the barriers by a mechanical failure in the morning.

The proposed 2019 front-runners lost the majority of the day to the follow up investigation.

Here is a full review of each and every team’s day.

Video: Norris fastest as Mercedes hits issues

McLaren rookie Lando Norris was fastest on the first day of the second Formula 1 pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona, despite finding reliability issues.

Equipped with the C5 tyres – the softest compound in Pirelli’s range – Norris posted a 1m17.709s time to edge Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly off of top spot.

Soon after vaulting to the top of the times, Norris stopped on track for the second time in the day. The first was caused by a hydraulic problem on the MCL34 before lunch.

Both Ferrari and Mercedes’ mileage was hampered, as the Scuderia completed cooling checks in the morning, while Valtteri Bottas stopped on track with an oil pressure problem after just one lap at the start of the afternoon session.

Here is a full round up of how all 10 teams fared on the first day of the second test.

Video: Mercedes delivers more pace while Hulkenberg ends on top

Nico Hulkenberg topped the timesheet on the fourth and final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona, while Mercedes begins to show more performance.

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton ran the C5 and C4 tyres respectively, to secure fourth and fifth on the timesheet in the W10.

The reigning constructors’ champions’ technical director James Allison had said prior to Thursday’s running that the team would focus on “a little bit of performance.”

Here is a video rounding up how each and every team fared on day four of the opening test.