Jerez testing – THE POINT…by Gian Carlo Minardi

The Jerez four-day-testing session officially inaugurated the Formula 1 new era. The Spanish session has provided Ferrari with a fairly satisfied starting point and with the awareness the Italian squad has to fight against Mercedes who have a slight lead over them. Alonso stated he shares telemetry with his teammate Kimi and, to be honest, I don’t find it hard to believe. Ferrari is the only squad to be able to manage two first drivers, providing both with the same technical material. When performance levels will be evaluated, a true feeling of competitiveness will arise, but only time trials will set the strategies.

It’s only the beginning, so it wouldn’t be fair to “deliver any ruling”. It will be interesting to see cars’ behaviour in Bahrein, where temperatures will be higher, even if I think that the Stuttgart based manufacturer worked side by side with his four partners. They gathered many data thanks to the miles Mercedes, McLaren, Williams and Force India gained throughout the testing session.  The same was for the Maranello based squad, despite the problems Sauber and Marussia had.

Considering the close relationship between Renault and Lotus, the former would have missed the latter so much at Jerez. Starting from next session, there could be a better information exchange to go to the benefit of Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso, even if, according to White’s statement, there is quite a wide difference between indoor and on-track testing. The World Champion started on the wrong foot and now they have to give evidence proof of their strength. It’s in moments like this that a team should prove its virtue.

As far as engines are concerned, after Jerez testing session, some debriefs were held to discuss technical issues. Many car companies had the opportunity to attend the first session and evaluate a possible entry into the top tier Championship.

The Sakhir testing won’t give a clear idea on the whole situation, so evaluations can be made only after the first races. Now Formula 1 cars run more slowly than GP2, so only the most skilled teams in car handling and consumption will be successful. This has to make us think a lot, as this could be less attractive for race enthusiasts. We don’t have to forget that Formula 1 is the highest expression of motorsport.

I’m pleased to know that Williams will soon announce their partnership with one of the brands that has always made the history of motorsport. This partnership represents a great step forward not only for a team who had a troublesome 2013 season, but also for the whole F1 framework. In 1991, the year my M191 was powered by the Maranello-based company’s engine, me too I was very close to conclude an agreement with that company, but unfortunately we didn’t seal the deal.