Testing Day 7: In 100 Words

It was a strange day in Barcelona on Thursday as there were some surprises on the timing board as well as the usual disappointments. Sebastian Vettel went through lightspeed to finish top of the leaderboard in 1:19 with Hamilton running him a close second in the Mercedes. There were plenty of good performances from smaller teams as Force India, Toro Rosso and Haas finished in 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. It was another frustrating day for McLaren, as engine troubles led to disjointed running. It’s all to play for on the final day of testing, then it’s on to Australia!

Testing Day 6: In 100 Words

Day 6 was all about the Finnish. It was the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas who topped the table, as Kimi Raikkonen had a day to forget in his Ferrari. Bottas set the quickest time, while his fellow countryman crashed on turn 3, ending his day prematurely. It was a disappointing day for Red Bull, who had engine issues, while McLaren continued to struggle, with Fernando Alonso only 12th fastest out of 14 drivers. Compared to last week, rookie Lance Stroll had a good day in the Williams, the teenager going fifth fastest ahead of world champion Lewis Hamilton. Lets see what Thursday holds!

1 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:19.310 **

2 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams 1:19.420 ***

3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:20.406 *

4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:20.432 *

5 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 1:20.579 **

6 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:20.702 *

7 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:21.213 **

8 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:21.297 **

9 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso 1:21.872 *

10 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:21.887 ***

11 Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Sauber 1:23.000 *

12 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:23.041 *

13 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber 1:23.384 *

14 Jolyon Palmer (GB) Renault 1:26.462 **

* = time set on soft tyre; ** = super-soft tyre; *** = ultra-soft tyre. Others medium

Testing Day 5: In 100 Words

Felipe Massa definitely likes downforce. The little Brazilian went quickest on day 5 in his Williams, showing that they have some real potential this year. As predicted, Red Bull upped their game with Riccardo flying round at a good pace. Mercedes and Ferrari continued their good work from last week, although not managing to gaining top spot from Massa. McLaren had new engine troubles to start their week, with Honda replacing their engine with testing only a few hours old. And Pascal Wehrlein finally returned to his Sauber after injury, which was great to see. Who knows what tomorrow will hold?

1 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams 1:19.726 **

2 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:19.900 ***

3 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:19.906 *

4 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:20.456 *

5 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:20.924 *

6 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 1:21.347 **

7 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:21.989 *

8 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:21.676 *

9 Daniil Kvyat (Spa) Toro Rosso 1:21.743 *

10 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 1:22.537 *

11 Pascal Wehrlein (Ger) Sauber 1:23.336 *

12 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber 1:23.630 *

13 Jolyon Palmer (GB) Renault 1:24.790 *

* = time set on soft tyre; ** = super-soft tyre; *** = ultra-soft tyre. Others medium

What to Look Out for in Testing Week 2: In 100 Words

Week 2 is shaping up to be hugely important.

  • Will either Mercedes or Ferrari come good and take control before Australia.
  • Can the Bulls continue to improve and make a play for the top?
  • Will McLaren finally get over their engine troubles?
  • Can Stroll manage to keep the Williams on the track and put in a good shift?
  • And what of the smaller teams? Will any of them show signs that they can dominate the midfield or even challenge towards the top of the grid.

Hopefully these will all be answered in the coming days, which are sure to be interesting

Testing Day 4: In 100 Words

Day 4 made for a wet track in Barcelona, but it was only artificial. However, there was nothing artificial about Ferrari’s pace as they once again went round fastest. Raikkonen was eight tenths of a second quicker than Max Verstappen, who’s Red Bull team have been looking stronger as they week has progressed. It was a disappointing day for Mercedes, as only Valtteri Bottas made it out onto track as a technical problem with the car meant that Hamilton couldn’t drive. It was an even worse day for Williams, who didn’t have a car after yesterday’s accident, poor Lance Stroll.

Testing Day 3: In 100 Words

It was a duel of red and silver as Ferrari and Mercedes battled for dominance on the third day in Barcelona. Bottas ended the day slightly quicker than Vettel, although this was on the faster ultrasoft tyre. Red Bull vastly improved after their dismal performance in the past 2 days. The surprise package of day 3 was Renault, who finished 4th and 5th after a day of blistering pace. And although McLaren finally got some reliability from their engine, they were dreadfully off the pace. Finally, thoughts go out to Lance Stroll who has crashed his Williams three times in two days.

1 Bottas   Mercedes   1:19.705 75 laps Ultrasoft

2 Vettel   Ferrari   1:19.952 139 Soft

3 Ricciardo   Red Bull   1:21.153 70 Soft

4 Palmer   Renault   1:21.396 51 Soft

5 Hulkenberg   Renault   1:21.791 42 Soft

6 Ericsson   Sauber   1:21.824 125 Supersoft

7 Hamilton   Mercedes   1:22.090 95 Soft

8 Grosjean   Haas   1:22.118 56 Supersoft

9 Stroll   Williams   1:22.351 98 Soft

10 Alonso   McLaren   1:22.598 72 Ultrasoft

11 Sainz   Toro Rosso   1:23.540 32 Medium

12 Celis Jr   Force India   1:23.619 70 Soft

13 Kvyat   Toro Rosso   1:23.952 31 Medium

Testing Day 2: In 100 Words

Another dramatic day of testing has come and gone, so what have we learned? Ferrari were fastest ahead of the Mercedes, with the Italians flying round the circuit like a red blur. The Bulls picked up the pace after their disappointment, with teen wonder kid Verstappen throwing himself firmly in third. However, it was a mirror image for Williams. After such a strong performance yesterday, the rookie Stroll took the car for a spin, only to literally spin and damage the car. And McLaren’s engine problems continued, which leaves you asking the question: what do they actually do at Honda?