Formula 1 heads to Barcelona for a second four-days of preseason testing with a certain amount of intrigue while also wary that little can be read into times set in the previous four test days and what we will witness during the forthcoming week in Spain starting tomorrow (Tuesday).
As the headline suggests we will get good mileage, but reading anything beyond that would be pure speculation.
Having said that there are other ingredients to keep us well intrigued because every team has a story and more, amid the garages numerous subplots have started to unfold:
- As usual Ferrari ‘leads’ the ‘preseason championship’ after a strong showing during the first test. Can they sustain the momentum?
- When are Mercedes seriously going to turn up? Is the W10 their first lemon? Or is everything on ice until it matters?
- Is Honda as good as the Red Bull camp are claiming?
- How good is the Renault engine package and their chassis? Challengers at last?
- Is McLaren finally heading in the right direction?
- Will the Toro Rosso STR14 be as good, or even better, than the Red Bull RB15?
- Is Sauber already best of the rest?
- What’s up at Racing Point with the ‘almost 2018’ RP19?
- Has Haas dropped to third in the Ferrari-power pecking order with Alfa moving up a rung?
- Finally, they lag three and a half days behind their rivals in terms of track mileage, can Williams get their season up to speed? The futures of some top brass at Grove depend on the success of the FW42…
Some fans enjoy singing the old tired tune that ‘F1 testing means nothing’ in terms of bigger picture. Indeed reading into the minutiae of lap times and sectors times when everything is disguised by team would be foolish.
But it does not take a crystal ball to predict that Williams will be in trouble at Albert Park, Ferrari and Mercedes will have handy cars, Honda power looks good, watch Alfa Romeo… these are things we have learned thus far.
More will unfold and will answer the abovementioned questions, and how things pan out by close of play on Friday will give us a better picture of what to expect.
A certainty is that we will see more impressive mileage as the manufacturers, collectively have managed to make these once pesky hybrid turbo power units into bulletproof pieces of kit, reliability perhaps never seen ever during F1 preseason testing.
Throughout the week, on this site, we will be running our F1 Live Ticker feed which will be kept nourished with news and developments as they happen, fed with our own reports as well as news straight from the teams and drivers as well as a selection of trackside reporters and F1 personalities.
Driver schedule for the next four days in Spain: