Gian Carlo Minardi “The ship should never be abandoned”

The third day of F1 pre-season testing at Jerez was over. Without taking into account testing times- the new F1 cars are 1 sec. slower than GP2 cars – what stands out immediately is the large number of laps completed by Ferrari’s Alonso (58), McLaren (50 with the new recruit Magnussen and 40 with the veteran Button) and Mercedes’ s Hamilton (62).

On-going problems for the Renault-powered Red Bull, who abandoned the circuit one day in advance, “It’s not a positive message at all to see the world champion team’s staff driving away from the track. A captain should never abandon the ship. This could be a warning about the squad’s problems, considering also that the last day of testing still has to be run. It’s rumoured that Adrian Newey and the Renault engine manager White had a ferocious quarrel”, says Gian Carlo Minardi on the website, “I find it hard to understand why they abandoned, especially one day before the last day. On-track data can be analysed and amendments can be made according to them”, says the manager from Faenza.

After three days, we have a Mercedes-Mercedes who completed 177 laps, followed by Ferrari with 136 completed laps, Mercedes-powered McLaren with 133 laps (the first day the squad didn’t test) and Mercedes-powered Williams completed 89 laps. The Renault-powered teams are experiencing a troublesome testing session, Red Bull managed to complete only 14 laps “This is only the third day of shake-down. In the past, teams took private testing sessions before taking on-track testing, while today they have to make that publicly. The problems some teams are dealing with are ordinary problems, especially because Formula 1 has been fully revised. This is the reason why I don’t want to analyse testing times, but I’d rather analyse engine’s behaviour. As we may see, Mercedes has interpreted new regulations the best way, just as Ferrari, whose drivers are gaining miles. On the contrary, Renault is experiencing a troublesome session. Maybe Lotus was forward-looking…..”continue Minardi “Some external observers, through the employment of phonometric instruments, affirm that cars are not exploiting all their engines power, which is 15.000 revs/min. This is the reason why we carefully look at testing times, even if it’s too early to judge.”

After Spain, Formula 1 will move to Bahrein, where Lotus will take part in the testing session, too, and “Starting from February 19th, testing will be held in Bahrein, where temperature will be much higher. If some teams already have some cooling related troubles, I don’t dare to think what will happen in Sakhir”, ends the manager from Faenza, “These first testing days demonstrated that some teams did a great off-track job, to be honest, I’m surprised by Renault negative performance.”