Test Review – Jerez

All the teams except Toyota and Ferrari, but finally including Super Aguri, tested in Jerez last week. Williams and Red Bull tested for 4 days, the rest for 3 days only.

As usual it is hard to read into the times. But there are few things that are becoming obvious:

McLarens did look like the fastest cars out of the Jerez pack, although on Wednesday Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica all managed better times than quickest of McLaren’s – Lewis Hamilton. A day later however it was Heikki Kovalainen on top, and around 1.5 second faster than Lewis Hamilton. This big difference suggests that each driver was on different program… They also tried out some weird looking wheel covers.

How close to or ahead of Ferrari they are is everybody’s guess…

Red Bull and Williams did very well. The ugly fin on Red Bull seems to be working and looks set to stay … Nakajima is quite impressive in Williams and I would lie if I say I expected him to be pretty much on par with Nico Rosberg. The races may be different story, but so far so good for Williams and for Nakajima. BMW and Renault are 2 other teams that form the very strong upper midfield group. These four may be a bit behind McLaren at the moment, but it looks like the days of top 6 pre-booked for Ferrari, McLaren and BMW drivers are over. The Q2s are going to be very intense with 12 cars at least fighting it out for 10 places in Q3 …

Then there is Toro Rosso somehow standing alone between the top and the bottom. Vettel seems to be a tenth or two faster than Bourdais. They are still running the old car, the new one not expected before the beginning of the European F1 season. But judging from their current form, starting the season with an old car is not going to hurt them.

Force India car, despite getting a facelift, remains firmly among the backmarkers. There however seems to be quite a difference between performances of Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil (and Tonio Liuzzi). Looks like Fisi is out to prove his critics wrong …

Honda still lacks the speed and the three second gap between Button and Kovalainen on Thursday looks scary. But the guys at Honda seem to be happy and quite upbeat after the Jerez test. Clearly clocking quick times was not why they went to Jerez. The updates expected for the final test in Barcelona are supposed to address all the issues with the car the team has identified, so let’s wait and see …

Super Aguri made it clear to the world they still exist. Both Sato and Davidson (although still without contract for 2008) took the car around the Jerez track. They were slower than Honda proper, but the gaps were just around a tenth of a second. Unfortunately these days being a tenth slower than Honda is not a exactly good news.

7 Comments Post a Comment
  1. StewNo Gravatar says:

    If Honda has anything else to show, they really are leaving things pretty late. I’m starting to think they aren’t going to be any better than last season.

    Williams on the other hand have looked very good recently so I’d say they are my pick for the best improvement of pre-season

  2. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    I am also quite doubtful about Honda, I am afraid this is just an attempt to show a brave face … but I may be wrong … we will see after next test Barcelona … wait .. we said that before Valencia, before Barcelona, before Jerez

    Williams however are really impressive, I genuinely hope they keep the momentum and return where they belong

  3. sidepodcastNo Gravatar says:

    “I am also quite doubtful about Honda, I am afraid this is just an attempt to show a brave face”

    they’ve been something of a slow burner so far this year. it’s painful watching them right now, i guess putting processes in place takes a while. i’d hate to predict how long though.

    maybe Gene is wrong and it’s honda that are doing all the sandbagging?

    sidepodcast’s last blog post..Episode 52 – He’s Young, He’s Talented, He’s in the Wrong Team

  4. F1Minute.comNo Gravatar says:

    I am intrigued to see what the two Sebs can pull out of the bag when it comes to actual race day.

    Vettel reckons starting with the old car isn’t going to hinder them at all, and I’m curious to see how old stacks up against new when it really matters.

    F1Minute.com’s last blog post..18-Feb-08: Super Aguri Pull Out of Barcelona Test

  5. sidepodcastNo Gravatar says:

    “Vettel reckons starting with the old car isn’t going to hinder them at all”

    i think he’s wrong, or insanely optimistic, but we’ll see.

    btw: i your contact page working? tried to send you a message, but nothing appeared to happen.

    sidepodcast’s last blog post..Episode 52 – He’s Young, He’s Talented, He’s in the Wrong Team

  6. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    I will neeed to check out on the contact page, I heard from others there are problems too …

  7. sidepodcastNo Gravatar says:

    no probs, just wanted to say we updated f1 minute player with a new generic logo. no biggy.

    sidepodcast’s last blog post..Episode 52 – He’s Young, He’s Talented, He’s in the Wrong Team

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2014 Teams and Drivers

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Daniel RICCIARDO
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Fernando ALONSO
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