The testing last week did not reveal too much. Not that we ever can tell too much about the form of teams from a test, but we can tell pretty much nothing after the last Barcelona test . Here is my view of what may have changed.
First look at the top 3:
Ferrari looked to be damn fast on slicks and with the hole in the nose. But not that different times were later achieved for example by Barrichello and Alonso, also on slicks. Ferrari’s speed early on in the test does not reveal much … McLaren cars were quite slow last week but both de la Rosa and Hamilton did lots of laps on their test days and outright speed might not have been their focus. Quite the same can be said about BMW Sauber. All three top teams are optimistic on their own form but cautious at the same not knowing the true gains of the other 2 …
Down to midfield now:
Although Alonso thinks that not much have been gained in performance of Renault, Bob Bell is confident of big step forward in “multiple tenths of second”. Whether Renault can emerge as new leaders of the midfield will depend on how many tenths did the other teams find. They all came up with some upgrades but none of them expressed such outright optimism as Renault technical director.
Back of the grid:
Toro Rosso received new chassis from Red Bull. Once they are ready to race they may cause some headaches to Red Bull proper as the Ferrari engine looks to be better than the Renault one … At the moment however they still race the old car that they did not test in Barcelona. Force India are making steady progress. Their fastest laps were on slick tyres but they were quite happy with their running on 2008 specs tyres. Super Aguri did not test and did not get bought. All they managed to do was to fall back into deep trouble.
Who will be the winners and loosers this (race) weekend in Barcelona ?
Winner – Ferrari – I suspect they will have the strongest package.
Looser – BMW Sauber – While they may (or may not?) be stronger than McLaren, they will probably loose their lead in constructor standings to Ferrari.
Winner – Renault – I have the feeling Renault will be the best of the rest in Spain.
Looser – Red Bull – I am not sure why I think they will loose ground to Renault and Honda.
Winner – Force India – I think Fisichella will finally get lucky and will make it to Q2
Winner/Looser – Super Aguri and F1 – What it will be remains to be seen. Althouth information that the entire Super Aguri team has been dispatched to Barcelona has emerged it still far from sure the team will take part in the race …
Photo: Red Bull / GEPA