Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Raikkonen leaves Ferrari on top as McLaren’s misery goes on

2017 F1 season

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Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen posted what was comfortably the fastest lap time of the pre-season as testing came to a close in Barcelona.

Despite a stoppage late in the day, Raikkonen’s 1’18.634 was easily the quickest time by any of the ten teams over the two weeks of testing ahead of the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

The weather was clear and sunny once more as the teams took to the track for their last opportunity to run before the season begins.

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
Testing day eight in pictures
Nico Hulkenberg used ultra soft tyres on his Renault to post their quickest time with a 1’19.885, before handing the car over to team mate Jolyon Palmer in the afternoon, who was able to add a modest amount of laps to his total.

Haas experienced a difficult morning as Romain Grosjean first stopped in the pitlane and had to be pushed back to the garage, before spinning into the gravel at turn five later in the morning and causing the first of the day’s red flag stoppages. After getting back out, the Haas then came to a stop after turn nine, but the team were able to recover the car and back out in the afternoon.

There were yet more difficulties at McLaren, with Fernando Alonso stopping twice on circuit with their persistent electrical issues. The team once again covered the least laps of anyone, but Alonso was able to lower the team’s fastest lap of the test on ultra soft tyres, albeit over two-and-a-half seconds off the pace.

Lance Stroll capped off a much more impressive second week of testing with over 120 laps to his name and producing his personal best lap of the test. Crucially, the rookie did not make any significant errors during the final week of the test.

With the traditional ‘golden hour’ just before the lunch break producing the best times, Kimi Raikkonen bolted on a set of super soft tyres and pushed his Ferrari to a 1’18.634, comfortably the quickest time of the day and of the two weeks of testing with no obvious signs of sandbagging.

Raikkonen covered over 100 laps on the day, but an apparent failure on the SF70H with around 90 minutes left in the day looked as though it would put an early stop to Ferrari’s testing programme. However, Ferrari were able to get Raikkonen back out in the closing minutes.

Carlos Sainz produced Toro Rosso’s personal best time of testing in the Toro Rosso, recording the third-fastest time of the day. After adding over 100 laps to the team’s total, Sainz stopped on the main straight late in the day with an apparent mechanical gremlin.

Mercedes quietly ticked over 4,000km and 1,000 laps over the two week test, but did not look to be pushing to their maximum, with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton recording times that were well within their bests.

With the test now concluded, the next time drivers will have the opportunity to get behind the wheels of their new cars in anger will be at first practice for the Australian Grand Prix two weeks from today.

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLaps
17Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSF70H1’18.634111
233Max VerstappenRed BullRB131’19.4380.80471
355Carlos Sainz JnrToro RossoSTR121’19.8371.203132
477Valtteri BottasMercedesW081’19.8451.21153
544Lewis HamiltonMercedesW081’19.8501.21654
627Nico HulkenbergRenaultRS171’19.8851.25145
711Sergio PerezForce IndiaVJM101’20.1161.482128
830Jolyon PalmerRenaultRS171’20.2051.57143
918Lance StrollWilliamsFW401’20.3351.701132
1014Fernando AlonsoMcLarenMCL321’21.3892.75576
118Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-171’21.3892.75543
129Marcus EricssonSauberC361’21.6703.03659
1394Pascal WehrleinSauberC361’23.5274.89342

Combined times by team for all eight days of testing

PositionTeamModelTimeGap
1FerrariSF70H1’18.634
2MercedesW081’19.3100.676
3WilliamsFW401’19.4200.786
4Red BullRB131’19.4380.804
5Toro RossoSTR121’19.8371.203
6RenaultRS171’19.8851.251
7Force IndiaVJM101’20.1161.482
8HaasVF-171’20.5041.870
9McLarenMCL321’21.3482.714
10SauberC361’21.6703.036

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Will Wood
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  • 93 comments on “Raikkonen leaves Ferrari on top as McLaren’s misery goes on”

    1. With the wick turned up, I’m guessing the Merc can easily do a 1.17.2 on ultrasofts. Still I’m hoping Ferrari are at least as good as RB.

      1. Ferrari can do easily high 1.17 on UltraSofts. Thing is if anybody can do 1.16! I think that’s the the winner.

      2. Your guess is based on absolutely nothing and is so far off their time here it makes me wonder

      3. Pretty sure Merc can do 1:16s

      4. I think TR can do a 1:16.742 on the Mediums when Renault turn the wick up

    2. I think Merc gonna work hard until Melbourne. Some things are different than last 3 years.

      1. digitalrurouni
        10th March 2017, 17:13

        I am inclined to agree.

        1. sunny stivala
          11th March 2017, 8:40

          do not worry, and rest assured, we have been assured time and time again that when the Mercedes boys registers their fast laps they are not trying hard, they are not using high output modes, they are using a ton of fuel, on the other hand when the FERRARI boys register their fast lap times, they are trying their hardest, they are running on fumes, they are using max power modes. so relax both body and minds mates.

          1. Actually where did you learn that? Do you have any sources. There are sources that say Mercs and Ferrari and neck and neck through turns 1-3. Merc slightly better on turn five and Ferrari better on turn 9. Both Mercs and Ferraris did low fuel running. Both of them not using the most powerful engine modes. Both valteri and Lewis pushed hard on their laps.

    3. I know that this is just testing and all, but for Sauber to not be able to get within 3 seconds of the best time, which itself is almost certainly not the best that the top teams can do, has to be worrisome. McLaren are also slow, but they have known problems and a lot of potential to improve as they solve them. Sauber have a 2016 engine that will only get slower relative to the other teams as the season progresses.

      1. Sauber are sandbagging

      2. If the top teams times is not the best they can do what makes you think Saubers times are the best they can do?

        1. @rethla Probably because the faster they look in testing, the more likely they are to attract sponsors, and backmarker teams tend to run close to the limit in testing as they want to also know where they are.

          1. They know where they are even if they are running in heavy fuel or low downforce mode or whatever they are testing just like the big teams. Noone is doing qualifying runs/setups during pre season testing, it wouldnt make any sense to setup the cars just for being quick around circuit de catalunya, that they are doing in P1,P2 and P3.

    4. Interesting, looks like there could be three groups of teams with Sauber and McLaren off the back off the midfield. The field certainly looks pretty close, so I’m excited for the first race.

    5. Here’s to hoping we’ll have three teams in contention for the title this year. Can’t wait.

      In other news, utter waste of Alonso’s talent. Surely he must be past his best by now – Schumacher was in severe decline at this age. On the other hands it’s not the worst of situations for Vandoorne – no real pressure in his debut season while he gets to grips with the team.

      1. Severe decline? When Schumacher was 35 he put in the most successful season in the sport’s history.

    6. Here’s to hoping we’ll have three teams in contention for the title this year. Can’t wait.

      In other news, utter waste of Alonso’s talent. Surely he must be past his best by now – Schumacher was in severe decline at this age. On the other hands it’s not the worst of situations for Vandoorne – no real pressure in his debut season while he gets to grips with the team.

      1. Severe decline? Are you serious?
        Schumacher at 35 did his best season ever with 13 wins out of 18 races.

        He did start to fade some time later. Can’t say about 05 cuz that car was a dog and those tyres were subpar, but on 06 he wasn’t the same anymore. Easily better than everyone else bar Alonso and Raikkonen, but past his best.

        1. Further to that, even Schumacher, who then had 3 years out, came back and raced in his 40s, and gave a challenge to the man we now call world champion. Alonso may well have time yet

    7. Wow, Valtteri is faster than Lewis. Looks like this will be another “off” year for Lewis. Lewis’ foot-in-mouth comments about not sharing data we heard throughout preseason makes sense now with Toto’s golden boy putting in faster lap times than him.

      1. @mark jackson You clearly missed the comments from Lauda saying that Bottas is slower then Hamilton and why would you care cause you are no Bottas fan but a motivated Hamilton basher.

        1. @patienceandtime Don’t feed the trolls. Note that they never seem to have a reply name (@….).

        2. No harm in bashing a arrogant and selfish driver like crapmilton.

          1. @Abhi So explain what’s so arrogant about Hamilton, i’ve heard that often from the Hamilton basher but never got an explanation as to how you people came to that conclusion..

            1. nelson piquet
              10th March 2017, 21:11

              do you watch f1?

      2. mark jackson, as others have said, without knowing the context within which those times were set, it is utterly meaningless to blindly compare the times.

        There have been a number of cases where a driver has set fast times in testing, but then failed to replicate that performance during the season – perhaps one of the more extreme famous examples would be Michael Andretti beating Ayrton Senna by around 0.5s during one in season test, only to be fired five races later for underperforming.

        Now, that is not to say that Bottas will not be competitive – what it does demonstrate is that testing times are rather meaningless and that the true test of Bottas’s performance will be what he can actually do during a race weekend.

      3. Equinox, one of your many aliases then. Your not fooling anyone with your anti Lewis rhetoric and the season hasn’t even begun yet.

      4. I am a fan of Bottas. I hope he and Hamilton are evenly matched this year.

        That being said, I want some of whatever you’re taking. Testing times mean nothing.

      5. I’m guessing that comment is a joke Mark ? But if not it’s worth remembering this is pre-season testing, the times mean nothing. We don’t know tyre age, track temps, time of day, fuel loads, wind direction, wind speed, etc. Hell, we don’t even know the spec of the car each driver was testing at the time. This week is all about testing the car to figure out baseline performance and only the teams will know where they stand.

    8. For a moment I thought that Kimi was actually leaving Ferrari

      1. Indeed the headline did throw me off

      2. I almost thought the same, felt shocked for a second :D

      3. @drrapg @socalf1fan likewise, I was shocked for a moment!

      4. ‘Raikkonen leaves Ferrari’ -aaand then my heart stops for a moment.

      5. That’s what i understood too for a second.

      6. Yup, I should really start reading more than just the first few words of headlines.

      7. Glad I wasn’t the only one!

    9. Didn’t Haas do less laps than McLaren?

      1. Also their fastest lap was yesterday, not today, unless that table is wrong.

    10. In my opinion,this is the pecking order heading to Australia:
      1.Ferrari,Mercedes,RBR(unknown who is actually faster)
      4.Williams
      5-8 F.I,Haas,Renault,Str(In that order)
      9.McLaren
      10.Sauber

      1. I tend to agree except that almost confident Merc is still the fastest, the question is by how much and who is the next.

        1. Well,Mercedes said that they are not entirely satisfied with their updates,so if they fail to bring something new to Australia,they might not be in the position they want

          1. @miltosgreekfan Yeah but don’t take their word for it though. I’d describe this years testing as merely intriguing, we’ll only get actual answers in Melbourne.

            If Ferrari don’t win a race next year, I won’t be surprised, if they win 8 races, I won’t be surprised.

            Oh man i really hope we get some title fights this season. It’s been too long with all this domination.

            1. @scribe Hopefully we can have a 3 team battle for the title,with multiple race winners and some suprises(Perhaps a Williams-F.I win!)

            2. +1 Well said

      2. @miltosgreekfan
        I think Red Bull’s position is pretty much where they are with their current car, but I expect them to bring a huge upgrade to Melbourne, they could still have a reliability issue though. I expect Mercedes will make a jump too, I’m hoping they’ll all come out at fairly similar pace but it seems like Ferrari or Mercedes could start with an advantage, depending on how much Merc have been sandbagging.

        Williams I think showed their hand, so I don’t think they’ll be in clear air come the race.

        From what I’ve heard from Force India they’re a bit disappointed with their performance, so I expect them to make a jump when they work that out, although it might take a few races. STR and Haas I’m not sure about, my gut says STR will be at the front of that group and Haas will be quick if they can work their brakes out.

        1. A big part of the champioship will be decided based on the upgrades brought by the teams.We remember how Williams last year,messed up with their upgrades and failed to do somerhing good last year!Haas must solve its brakes,coz its seems like a good car in overall

      3. Pretty sure Merc is still in front, Ferrari a pretty close second, RBR trailing a little bit, but can easily pull themselves alongside Merc and Ferrari if the two in front keep fighting it out.

        I think FI can challenge Williams for 4th. I tip the driver lineup towards FI, and I think consistency will be the key to whoever gets 4th. If Stroll can do his job, Williams has it.

        The Haas/Renault/STR battle will be good to watch. I want to see Grosjean, Sainz, and Hulkenberg use their skill to push their teams ahead in that fight.

        1. @cstefiuk Stroll’s performance is a big questionaire,he will throw some points with his inexpreience and if F.I manages to solve those issues they said they had,they can get in the fight with Williams.If McLaren manages to get in that midfield battle with Haas,Renault,STR,it will be even more spectacular,with the skills Alonso & Vandoorne have!

      4. ExcitedAbout17
        10th March 2017, 18:12

        The testing order could be roughly the WCC order this year.
        1 Ferrari SF70H 1’18.634
        2 Mercedes W08 1’19.310 0.676
        3 Williams FW40 1’19.420 0.786
        4 Red Bull RB13 1’19.438 0.804 will be at least 1 position higher, and developing faster
        5 Toro Rosso STR12 1’19.837 1.203
        6 Renault RS17 1’19.885 1.251
        7 Force India VJM10 1’20.116 1.482
        8 Haas VF-17 1’20.504 1.870
        9 McLaren MCL32 1’21.348 2.714 – most likely start in Melb, but I still think/hope them to end up much higher by season end!
        10 Sauber C36 1’21.670 3.036 (fastest car with a ’16 PU – by far)

      5. @miltosgreekfan Don’t forget Australia is a power circuit, a little more so than China, inspite of that straight.

        1. @peartree Thats a good point.Catalynia is not an power circuit,it has low & mostly high speed corners,so this factor might work in favour of Mercedes.The first 4 races are power-depending races,so this might profit the Mercedes powered teams!

        2. @peartree Good point indeed, thanks for the reminder that will help manage the inevitable disappointment in two weeks :)

        3. @peartree I wouldn’t call the Melbourne circuit a power circuit as the straights are quite short (even the longest straight of the track is a shortish one). I’d use the term ‘power circuit’ for the following ones: Bahrain International Circuit, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Red Bull Ring, Spa which is also an aero circuit, and Monza + Baku, Interlagos, and Sochi to some extent.

          1. @jerejj, what about the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico? Surely there is an argument that could be considered as a ‘power circuit’.

            1. @anon Only one sector of the circuit is a power-dependent (sector 1). The other two are corner-rich, so that’s why I don’t really consider it a power circuit because there are more corners than straights. There’s really only two straights, and the 2nd one between turns 3 and 4 is quite short.

            2. ‘a power-dependent sector’

          2. @jerejj sure there are tracks with longer straights. That said technically melbourne is a power circuit not only for the lack of high speed corners but also the stop start nature and time on full throttle. Melbourne is generally one of the higgest fuel consumption tracks.

    11. Was the Ferrari running on fumes? Does anybody know if this was a quali sim?

      1. Sky Sports reported that he did another couple of laps in the 1:19’s after that so definitely not on fumes but obviously we have no idea how heavy Mercedes have been on their short runs either

        1. Ok, thank you. Indeed, the time set on super-softs is somewhat closer to what I expected it to be in quali. Some people here think the cars can go under 1.17 in Barcelona, but I very much doubt it is possible without some solid upgrades. I think Ferrari were testing a specific engine mode with this run, so there could still be a bit more under the hood.

      2. We do know that Merc have consistently run heavy in testing over the last few years and we see it at the races when their speed suddenly leaps. Ferrari however have been the champions of testing a few times recently so you’d assume they run lighter.

        We know that Merc will get a lot faster, it’ll be interesting to see if Ferrari can match them.

        1. Well, Ferrari are somewhat different this year. They are not going loud and proud out there claiming anything. Quite the opposite. They were sandbagging (as any other team) throughout the tests, but this run today was definitely an outlier. That’s why I was curious, because if they still hold a couple of tenths, then the battle for this championship could be a very close one.

      3. @simeonoff

        We’ll see, I believe Marchionne buried deep all the “bad” habits from the past.

        1. @antoine-de-paris let’s hope it’s not just a facade to negate negative PR.

    12. I remember in 2014 Peter Windsor mentioned that both Lewis and Nico had prepared extra hard because they felt that this might be the year they could fight for the title.

      Well, I think this might be the year for Vettel and Raikkonen. I know Ferrari have posted fast time in previous winter testing seasons as well, but to me this year feels different. They have looked good on any type of run they did, even to the point of sandbagging on their quickest laps. Also, Mercedes and Red Bull seem to be making noises that their car is not quite there yet.

      I wonder whether Raikkonen also feels this way, and tries to up his game, perhaps one time more. Rosberg beat Hamilton last year, so it’s possible to beat a team mate that is a little bit quicker. Of course, Rosberg did everything in his power to win that title; does Raikkonen still have that hunger, or will Vettel stroll (yes, I know) to his fifth title?

    13. I saw “Raikkonen leaves Ferrari” and in that split second I thought why now?

      READ IDIOT lol

    14. The true answers will come in Australia and then over the course of the season. The times here are still largely meaningless (or at least, not completely representative).

      I really want to see how much faster the cars are compared to 2004. Obviously they used a different layout at Catalonia back then, so it will be interesting to see once they get to Australia

      1. This should be the only comment of every post over the pre season @srontium

      2. @strontium, to be honest, it is hard to make a direct comparison since most circuits have been slightly adjusted since 2004, making direct comparisons slightly tricky.

        Some have been made slightly faster – Bahrain would be one, due to modifications to Turn 4 and a resultant slight reduction to the length of the lap, whilst Interlagos is arguably faster due to resurfacing works in 2007 – whilst others have been made slower, such as the introduction of higher kerbs for the Hungaroring, Monza and Montreal to stop the drivers cutting across the apexes of the slower corners as much as they could in 2004.

        I’ve seen it argued that, at best, only three circuits – Melbourne, Suzuka and Shanghai – are close enough to their 2004 configuration for us to make a reasonable estimate of potential outright performance. Furthermore, in terms of official lap records the 2004 cars are extremely likely to hold most of those records due to the fact that they were permitted to refuel during the race whereas they cannot now, giving the 2004 cars a major advantage – qualifying trim is perhaps the only area where you could possibly make some comparisons.

        In that respect, you could argue that the 2016 cars were already faster than the 2004 cars in terms of qualifying performance at some circuits.

        Hamilton’s pole position in 2016 in Melbourne was faster than the official circuit record that Schumacher set in 2004 (Schumacher was actually faster in the race than in qualifying, setting a 1m24.1s lap in race trim but a 1m24.4s lap in qualifying trim, which compares with Hamilton’s 1m23.8s lap in 2016).

        As for Suzuka, you can’t really draw a comparison there because the qualifying session was rained off in 2004 – the official circuit record there is Kimi’s 1m31.5s lap in 2005, though I think that the unofficial fastest lap in the current configuration was Vettel’s pole lap in 2011 (1m30.47s); Rosberg’s pole lap in 2016 (1m30.65s) is, I believe, the next fastest lap around Suzuka.

    15. Mr Brown: Mr Honda, your engine lacks the wisdom and craftsmanship that Mr Daimler, Mr Ferrari, and the Renault Brothers use. How else do you explain their cars are more reliable? How else do you explain their cars are faster? Everyone is blaming you for the poor performance of the MCL32. The RA617H engine is making you loose face.
      Mr Honda: Mr Brown, you are not used to not being first in a race.
      Mr Brown: I am also not used to being last. You need to find more wisdom and more craftsmanship.

    16. Why are so many of you using history to predict the future? Analyse the information and come to a conclusion instead.

      1. Fills in the gap as testing times are subject to numerous variables. I really hope Ferrari lap the field but Merc tend to talk up rivals pre season then smash them on quali at the 1st race. Based on history Merc will be 0.7 ahead of RB in Australia and Ferrari 1 second off a Merc pole. I hope this year is different but will not be suprised.

        1. Your doing it again.
          Adjusted times show Ferrari 0.3 ahead during testing.

          1. Thats why I take recent history of results above testing times. Then when the order changes I take the latest recent history as a guide.

            1. Last season’s Australian GP is not recent history

    17. I still remember that video from the end of 2013 when Massa jokes on Alonso about his new team: “Marussia? Caterham?”. After two Marussia years for McLaren I guess Massa was right.
      https://youtu.be/dgJRZbhb-lE

      1. Duncan Snowden
        10th March 2017, 19:24

        *sigh*

        I should really stop reading the comments here. They’re making me sound like a McLaren fan, which I’ve never been.

    18. I’m going to say, Honda will make huge strides this year without the token system. The other thing, I am thinking, that, if Ferrari is competitive with Merc for race wins, Rai will defeat Vet this year for points. I can also see Kimi getting a newer more firey motivation if Ferrari is ultra competitive and actually in the championship hunt.

      I’ve competed for championships in the past. Not world stage or anything but as a human being, when you know you can’t win you play hard but settle sometimes. After affirming there’s a real chance to win, some astonishing things can come out of people fighting for the championship. Imo, this is what Kimi is missing. A truly perceived opportunity to win thechampionship. Should this present itself, I think Rai fans will be happy this year.

      1. I want to be optimistic about Honda, but it’s hard. The other manufacturers will be able to make gains as well. And who knows how long Honda will be still nailing down the basics of their package while everyone else is working around the clock on performance upgrades.

        I lost a lot of faith last year when I saw this story: http://en.f1i.com/news/57860-honda-surprised-renault-token-spend.html
        Honda was worrying about what other engine manufacturers were doing instead of trying to do everything they can. I’m not saying they should have cheated but… honestly, in their position, I think they should have been updating as much as they could and pushing the absolute limit of what is allowed with token updates. When you’re a front-running team, politics can be an effective strategy, but no amount of lobbying was going to make all three other engines as slow as the Honda. This statement by Honda’s head of F1 project Yusuke Hasegawa last year was, to me, like “oh, this is a team that doesn’t have what it takes to win championship.”

        1. I was optimistic in 2015 and 2016 so at times I feel little hope. Honda have been inept and McLaren have been in turmoil – Dennis and others get shown the door and some leave on their own accord – morale must be at an all time low.

          But McLaren and Honda are iconic organizations with a long history of success and possess the resources to turn it around. Yes, the size zero concept was a failure – they took a chance and it backfired but at least they tried.

          Now that they have adopted Merc’s engine design I think the progress will be swift but as we are seeing now it will be painful for awhile. There are free to develop the engine as the token system is finally gone. Others will progress also, but that doesn’t mean McHonda can’t catch them.

          Honda knows it HAS to get it right and I think they will although a championship surely won’t happen this year. Merc, Red, and Red Bull have also shown reliability issues so I think McHonda can get 3rd in the WCC and podiums.

          Overly optimistic? Maybe – but I believe in McLaren and Honda.

          1. The question I have now, after thinking on this more: if the problem was not that they couldn’t build a competitive engine, but that they weren’t allowed to *introduce it,* then why are we seeing what we’re currently seeing? I can’t wrap my head around this. They made excuses during two years of the token era. They said they had all the answers but the rules forbid them from implementing them. Well here we are. This engine should have been finished and testing ages ago and should have worked through these amateur problems. Surely two companies like McLaren and Honda could simultaneously work on this while also running their dismal 2016 campaign.

            I personally think they should have built the Mercedes engine concept and just tried to introduce it last year. As a ‘reliability upgrade.’ And if the FIA says no, then what’s the harm? Did the FIA ever say no? To any engine manufacturer?

      2. Before pre season testing even began, Mr.Hasegawa told the press that Honda’s approach is ‘risky’. I pretty much knew they were doomed after those statements as they decided to merely copy Mercedes’ layout. It’s not like Honda are doing anything innovative anymore, instead, they are adopting the tried and tested approach for PU design. Yet, they didn’t have the confidence in pulling it off. The fact that they got the shape of the oil tank wrong and didn’t account for the higher g forces while building the engine, just goes to show that they are really amateurish in their approach.

        So I’m going to disagree with you and say that Honda will make lesser progress than it’s rivals in 2017. I think it will take them at least 2 to 3 races before they can complete a race distance without an issue, and they will be over 100 hp down on rivals … resulting in a 3 second gap to leaders, which is their largest deficit since the opening races of 2015. I expect Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault to make massive performance gains, while Honda will be running a sub par power unit at 80% just to make sure it can complete a race distance. At the end of the year, I would expect them to pull out of the sport and put everyone out of their misery.

    19. God testing almost makes this preseason worse, every lap is like dose of misinformation. Nobody knows engine modes, fuel amounts or upgrade packages but the times keep coming and make us lose our minds trying to decipher their hidden meaning. I cannot wait for Australia.

      1. Well said. People try to read too much into ‘testing’. Testing means they are trying next experimental things on the cars to learn what works and how to progress through the rest of the season. I’m sure half the bits hanging off the cars will never see a real race. Yet armchair experts read nonsense into it. So what if one team shows a burst of speed and another car breaks down? They are TESTING. Merc will be fast because historically they are fast. Fer, RBR will be snapping at their heels or maybe faster but these tests show nothing useful.

    20. well, it’s gonna be a long hard season im afraid once again for mclaren, it’s such a shame that they still are having issues with power units, electrical whatever is happening at the moment, mclaren are not the team that used to be 10 years ago, and ron dennis departure didn;t help at all, why would they still accept being with honda when 3 years they can’t get it right still, i believe is not what it was 25 years ago as a whole, as a company which is reflected aswell here..

      1. Using your theory, Leicester will win the Premier League this year

        1. You totally misunderstood my point then…
          Just saying that you can’t use the Barcelona data for much more than reliability on the motors and chassis parts…In Australia you will see some of the picking order – but it is a slow track…

          1. Then l didn’t misunderstand

    21. “Kimi […] pushed his Ferrari […] with no obvious signs of sandbagging.”. What are signs of sandbagging? Is there a way to know (or to make an educated guess of) whether a team is sandbagging? From my very limited knowledge, it is virtually impossible.

    22. Well being first by a wide margin is never bad. Even if all teams now improve by 2 seconds, they are still within top 3.

      Pirelli guys think 1:17 is resonable time there based on their data. So Ferrari is either sandbagging or off pace.

      Last 3 years Mercedes were easily fastest even in training. This year not so much.

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