As I say each year, there are a throng of folks who say you can’t tell a darn thing from testing because you don’t know fuel loads, testing strategies, track temp impact and many other things. That’s true but it’s also true that you can tell a few things and the teams themselves can tell even more about a day of testing.
From a fan’s perspective, you have one key indicator of a car’s performance in how many laps they complete each day. In this metric, it was Red Bull that stood alone with the most laps completed on day one of testing.
This suggests reliability and watching the car on kerbs (curbs), it seemed balanced and rotated well. This suggests that Max Verstappen, who ran all day while other split duties, was happy with his new ride.
Fernando Alonso put in a good lap late on soft tires, as did several others, and this also bode well for ultimate pace but the Red Bull was still quicker.
One thing that I’ve learned over the past 8 years is to not trust a thing Mercedes says about their testing program. They’ve downplayed their pace in testing for so long only to start the season beating the competition like a Slingerland snare drum with a Vic Firth drumstick. I’ll believe their slower performance when I see it on the first qualifying session.
Testing Day 1 results:
- Verstappen (Red Bull) 1m32.837s, C3, 157 laps
- Alonso (Aston Martin) 1m32.866s, C3, 60 laps
- Sainz (Ferrari) 1m33.253s, C3, 72 laps
- Leclerc (Ferrari) 1m33.267s, C3, 64 laps
- Norris (McLaren) 1m33.462s, C3, 40 laps
- Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m33.508s, C3, 83 laps
- Albon (Williams) 1m33.671s, C4, 74 laps
- Zhou (Alfa Romeo) 1m33.723s, C3, 67 laps
- Russell (Mercedes) 1m34.174s, C3, 69 laps
- Sargeant (Williams) 1m34.324s, C3, 75 laps
- Hulkenberg (Haas) 1m34.424s, C3, 51 laps
- Bottas (Alfa Romeo) 1m34.558s, C3, 71 laps
- De Vries (AlphaTauri) 1m34.559s, test, 85 laps
- Drugovich (Aston Martin) 1m34.564s, C3, 40 laps
- Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) 1m34.671s, C3, 46 laps
- Gasly (Alpine) 1m34.822s, C2, 60 laps
- Ocon (Alpine) 1m34.871s, C2, 53 laps
- Piastri (McLaren) 1m34.888s, C3, 52 laps
- Magnussen (Haas) 1m35.087s, C3, 57 laps
I think this could be a year with split championships, Max in the RBR are probably the fastest car but Merc is probably overall a better team especially since Sergio probably wouldn’t p*ss on Max if he were on fire at this point. I think Alex A has a chance to show better in this year’s Williams and I hope so. I think for all the crabbing about pay drivers instead of talent we’re about to see some super young drivers this year. I think we will always have Nico Hulkenberg in F1 and he will never accomplish anything.
a dumb question perhaps… but where can one watch the testing?
Okay found it, highlights only. The Alpine reminds me of Mustache (French Actor) with the front wing looking like his downward sloping mustache.
It’s on F1TV streaming service.