F.1 – Workaholic Sauber in Barcelona
After the second round of four days on Montmelò track, winter test sessions have officially ended. From next round, it will get serious. In Melbourne, it will be there real World Championship. Everyone, or nearly so, will demonstrate 100% of the potential. Almost everyone because for Mercedes its 90% could be enough for dominating the weekend.
After playing hide and seek in the first two sessions, Rosberg and Hamilton have given a preview of their potential, scoring the best chronometric results on Friday and Saturday, using only Soft tires. Therefore, with SuperSoft tires the gap will be even greater. Stopwatch in hand, we talk about a lead of 1” from the first rivals, Williams of Massa and Bottas, and we must add additional 2-3 tenths to find the rest of the group.
Looking at the data of Barcelona, the many kilometers of Sauber emerge; the team collects more than 159 laps, which is more than 2,500 km, leaving behind the rest of the group, including Ferrari. Vettel and Raikkonen still stop at 2,000 Km. This is certainly an important and positive result for Maranello, that can rely on a good reliability of the new Power-Unit.
And it’s the sam also for the German engine. The Achilles’ heel of last season at Mercedes was exactly reliability, variable which allowed to hear different anthems from the English and German ones of two bearers. According to the various laps done, we can, however, rely no more on this variable.
Just in the last three days, the new Force India VJM08-Mercedes has finally made its debut, slowed by serious financial problems. Despite everything, however, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez managed to collect more than 360 laps – that’s to say 1680 km and 2.5 GP – demonstrating that the new car of Force India is born under the lucky star.
Still remains to identify the real potential of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull, motorized Renault, that has driven far fewer kilometers than their cousins of f the Toro Rosso-Renault. And it’s RBR that has launched in these days the new livery. After spending the winter with “camouflage”, in Melbourne it will race with the traditional livery, although on the side pods more space has been given to purple. Finally, we have McLaren-Honda, forced to numerous and long pit stops, and also slowed by Fernando Alonso’s accident, on which still linger too many doubts. Meanwhile, the official news has arrived: Alonso will not be in Melbourne. In his place, McLaren will line up Kevin Magnussen. The MP4/30-Honda collected an average of 700-800 km per session. Too few. The car shows certainly interesting solutions and once solved all the defects, they will make up for delay. Let’s not forget the leap that F1 has been able to put on track between the last test and the first race in Australia, in 2014.