Bahrain test – THE POINT…by Gian Carlo Minardi

The Bahrain test session can be considered as the first real test session, since at Jerez teams did only a shakedown test. Unfortunately, because of the new “off the wall” regulations, teams have only one more test session to be held in one week.

Therefore teams have to make a great effort to get their cars ready for the first three/four GP to be held on the other side of the world. As expected, teams had to deal with some reliability-related issues, which might also affect the first F.1 events.

Mercedes demonstrated to be more closely knitted to his partners than any other team. The Technical choices taken by the German supplier (more than 1140 laps), were rewarded by the laps gained by Mercedes (315 laps), McLaren (299 laps), Williams (318), Force India (212). Ferrari’s performance as a team was as good as the one displayed by the Mercedes’ duo Rosberg-Hamilton, whilst the Italian team’s performance as engine supplier was less brilliant. Sauber had some chassis-related problems, while Marussia lacked in reliability and managed to complete only 26 laps. The Maranello-based team left Sakhir with 552 laps under its belt.

Among the three constructors, Renault turned out to be hard put once again. Even though they managed to run more laps than at Jerez, Lotus was practically non-existent, just like Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Only Caterham managed to gain a good number of miles (250 laps) even though test times were not quick at all. In order to run the highest number of laps, the Renault-powered teams didn’t use KERS, which, in terms of lap time, means to be 5/6 sec. slower.

Among uncertainty, the only certain thing is that with these cars, it takes much more time to solve technical issues. This makes us understand how complicated the systems installed are.

We’re entering a very intensive week, during which the last testing session will take place. Then the true Championship will start.

Teams will have to work hard to get to Melbourne as much prepared as possible, trying to limit problems.

In this moment it is so difficult to make further analysis, as we don’t know which set up was used by teams to test and what it was tested. So, I stop here, for now