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2015 Formula One™ Pre-Season Test 2
Posted on 23 Feb 2015
By Kate Walker
Over the course of four days’ testing in Barcelona - the second of Formula One’s three pre-season outings - a clearer picture of form began to emerge, although all has yet to be revealed.
Not only are Mercedes well advanced in their test programme, thanks to their ability to start conducting long runs and race simulations from the first day of winter testing at the start of February, but when comparisons are made across tyre compounds and stint length, the Silver Arrows look to have consistent race pace with little drop-off in speed over extended runs, while Nico Rosberg’s best time on the medium compound in Barcelona was little short of ominous.
The other teams who look to have made good strides over the winter are Ferrari, Lotus, and Red Bull.
Having been best of the rest at the end of last season, Williams are a real dark horse heading to Melbourne. The car is certainly reliable, and both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa have said it’s even better than the FW36. Like Mercedes, WIlliams focussed on long runs and reliability over outright pace, and it is unlikely the team will show their hand until the F1 circus reaches Albert Park.
Which leaves Sauber and Toro Rosso. Both teams run the ‘other’ customer engine for Ferrari and Renault respectively, and much of their performance this season will depend on just how much progress each engine manufacturer made over the winter.
The STR10 looked to be largely reliable in Barcelona, although the team did lose track time to component failure and driver error, something that is par for the course when running two rookies in testing. As for Sauber, who need to make up for the worst year in the team’s history, the Swiss racers did lose track time to fixing mechanical gremlins as they appeared, but demonstrated reasonable pace and consistency when out on track.
2015 Formula One™ Pre-Season Test 2 (Barcelona) – Fastest times of the week
- Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1m 24.067s
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 24.321s
- Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 24.348s
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 24.574s
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 24.584s
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 24.672s
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 24.702s
- Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1m 24.739s
Kate Walker has been covering Formula One since the start of the 2010 season. Currently F1 writer for ESPN, motorsport.com, and GP Week, her articles have also appeared in the Financial Times, Grand Prix+, and in the official Formula One™ race programmes.