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.
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.
Next stop, Melbourne. Today marked the final day of pre-season testing, with drivers and teams anxious to clock the final few miles and gather as much data as possible to kickstart their 2017 campaigns. FP1 in Australia will be the next opportunity for evaluation.
Ferrari was once again top of the pile today, as Kimi Raikkonen further cemented the notion that the Scuderia could be set to right the wrongs of 2016 this year. We waited all afternoon for a Mercedes response, but it never came. We will have to wait until Melbourne to know if Ferrari has indeed done enough this winter to overhaul the Mercedes juggernaut.
Here are FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED on the final day of pre-season testing…
The penultimate day of testing saw five teams set their fastest times of this pre-season, as the cars are beginning to be stretched on performance runs. However, teams are still evidently reluctant to show their full hands.
Ferrari were once again today’s star performers, with Sebastian Vettel topping the timesheet, despite evidently backing off in the final sector on his fastest ultrasoft attempt. The SF70H was stunning all day, once again proving fast and reliable, and providing more supporting evidence to the theory that Ferrari is the real deal in 2017.
Here are FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED on day seven of pre-season testing…
As the sun rose over the Circuit de Catalunya this morning, teams entered into the final 24 hours of testing prior to the curtain raiser in Melbourne. Unsurprisingly, the intrigue continues to build as teams begin to reveal more clues providing hints as to what this season’s pecking order could look like.
After yesterday’s revelation that Hamilton percieves Ferrari to have the best package heading into the season, today was particularly intriguing, as we armchair pundits frantically studied the times in an attempt to find evidence for Hamilton’s suggestion. In reality, it was Williams who provided further evidence that they could, in fact, be dark horses.
Meanwhile, Mercedes seemed to turn up the power on their W08.
Here are FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED on day six of pre-season testing…
The F1 circus reconvened in Barcelona today, as 2017 testing fired back into life. The first week of pre-season testing offered a few clues with regards to the pecking order, yet this week promises to reveal far more as teams begin to show their hands by testing the true performance of their package.
Today was a tale of winners a losers. Ferrari, Williams and Red Bull all enjoyed excellent outings, while McLaren and Honda’s relationship has taken another sour turn, with the partnership now under “maximum” strain.
Here’s FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED on day five of pre-season testing…
On the eve of what could be a fascinating and revealing second week of pre-season testing, here is my attempt to decipher what F1’s pecking order will look like in 2017. Given that these early predictions are based on what was seemingly an unrepresentative first test, the contents of this article could be a mile away from the order we have after qualifying in Melbourne.
At least then I will have demonstrated the unpredictability of F1. Like any good armchair pundit hoping to predict the future, my excuses are in early.
Nevertheless, here is my 2017 predicted pecking order…