I tend not to spend too much time trying to analyse what is happening on the race track at Jerez and listen instead to the whispers that are going on in the background. This gives an indication of what the teams are actually thinking themselves, rather than guessing or analysing fuel loads that may or not be as they seem to be.
The rain in Spain has not made this any easier and it was wet again today. The testing days are now beginning to run out and so most teams are going to be going to Bahrain without that much preparation work done. The fastest time today was from the Williams of Rubens Barrichello. This may or may not be significant, but the word on the street is that the Williams is a pretty good car and more or less on a par with the McLarens in terms of speed.
Down at Red Bull I hear that, off the record, they are a little disappointed with the pace of the new car. That does not mean it is slow, it simply means that there was not as big a leap forward as had been hoped. Mercedes GP will be OK but it is not sensational. The Ferrari is definitely a fast car, but people keep telling me that it is in trouble with fuel consumption over race distances. Force India seem to be happy that the new car is a step closer to the guys at the front while the general consensus (rightly or wrongly) is that Sauber and Toro Rosso are playing to the peanut gallery a little with their lap times, as both would like to find more money. Renault is not saying much but will probably not be anything more than solid.
The new teams – Lotus and Virgin thus far – are having a rough time of it, as one might expect. Virgin had its much-publicized front wing failure last week, which was not a good sign. Today Lotus suffered a setback when Heikki Kovalainen damaged the Lotus after going off. There were no spares to fix the car.
The adventures of USF1, Campos and the curious Stefan GP continue to keep everyone amused. Time is running out.