– We are at the end of a technical cycle and on from the technical point of view these cars have reached their limit;
– The tyres are the same as last season.
The improvement in terms of timing, in the order of some tenths of a second compared to twelve months ago, are perfectly in line, just as it is much easier to gain half a second(if not a second) between one season and another and another with the inclusion of a new mix. Working only on the aerodynamics and the engine two-three years of development are needed to achieve the same objective.
What caught the eye was the gap of barely a second and a half between the first and the last (1’16”196 by Bottas and 1’17”803 by Albon). Honestly this gap is unrealistic and this must make us think but we will know the real forces at play in Melbourne.
What is scary is Red Bull. I have the impression it is one of the top teams, they have carried out the next major stage of development of the chassis and they had kept themselves hidden. In the latest attempt last Friday Verstappen clearly lifted his foot on T3 and his best time of 1’16”269 (a 71 thousandths from Bottas) could have been much lower.
Mercedes is illegible. They too have kept themselves under cover. Just like the satellite teams they encountered unexpected problems in reliability but they could have deliberately pushed their pieces to the limit to test their resistance.
Ferrari has grown compared to the first three days of tests, with different tests on the tyres even if they do not feel ready to fight for victory in the first part of the season.
Gian Carlo Minardi
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