Testing times

There is, of course, a desire among the fans to know what is going to happen in the year ahead in Formula 1. It’s only natural. But testing is not always a good guide.

Teams play games. They don’t want to show their full pace or all their clever bits because that would give the opposition more time to analyse the ideas and, if not replicate them, integrate the thinking into their own machinery.

The other key point is that teams want to collect data and not go flat out for lap times: they want to understand potential problems to make sure the cars are reliable. Finishing is key to all F1 success.

Thus it is wise after the first day of testing not to conclude that the McLaren is the fastest car out there. The team tried softer tyres than anyone else…

If you look at reliability, the number of laps is important and on day one in Barcelona it was World Champion Max Verstappen who led the way in the Red Bull, completing 147 laps and setting a best time using tyres that were harder than those used by other outfits.

In overall terms, Ferrari did the most laps (153) with its two drivers sharing the workload – and both setting solid times.

Williams was next with 132 laps, ahead of Mercedes and Alpine (127 apiece), AlphaTauri (121) and Aston Martin (119).

McLaren did only 103, considerably less than Ferrari and Red Bull.

Haas and Alfa Romeo did not start well with 43 and 32 laps respectively.

For now, it all means very little. Patterns will emerge in the days ahead and body language will give hints about how drivers and teams feel about their cars…

9 thoughts on “Testing times

    1. No. The launch of F1 in 2022 was sold to Bahrain. The teams wanted to do more testing and so the test was organsied without TV to give Bahrain the big tra-la-la

  1. Hi Joe, why Alfa Romeo are running the camo livery, even as the rest of the grid have revealed there liveries? Do they really have something to hide from other teams?

    1. No, I doubt it. It is nothing to do with technical things but rather because commercial deals were not ready to be announced yet. I doubt anyone is overly-interested in the car. From what I hear they have some new sponsorship (perhaps it is a March 1 contract thing). Some of that money will obviously be Chinese (I hear two sponsors) but I guess there could also be some B2B stuff from Stellantis. We will see. Anyway, covering it in camouflage has meant people are talking about it…

      1. Aha!

        This (your comment on Alfa’s motivation for running camo) is the kind of insight I don’t find anywhere else. Brilliant, thank you.

    1. Apologies for getting off-topic, but as someone who was looking to go to Turkey mid-year, may I ask why this question was raised?

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