Big teams pass the ball
That’s the most popular game in the paddock during the winter testing. We knew it from ages, but this year it was more than ever. “Ferrari are bluffing”, said Lewis Hamilton, “Mercedes are still the team to beat”, counter from Scuderia and #Red Bull joined the argue. The truth is that these 3 teams will be the real opponents this season. It’s still pretty early to predict if Ferrari can grab the title from Mercedes, or if Adrian Newey is made another masterpiece from RB13. Winter #Tests gave us a chance to see the cars but didn’t revealed all of the picture.
Ferrari were the fastest in Barcelona and they really impressed journalists, fans, other teams but there’s no warranty this speed will earn them a win in Australia in 10 days. Mercedes are still pretty fast in long stints, they worked well with new tyres and Red Bull closed the gap in the final days of testing.
It’s sure that Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull will come with some improvements in Australia. The Silver Arrows will have a new aerodynamic packet and may be a new version of the engine, which will give them few more speed.
McLaren didn’t do their homework
Year after year we listen two things – McLaren will close the gap to the others and new Honda engine is step ahead. Of course both of them are not true. Tests in Barcelona turner into real nightmare for the team from Woking. Several engine failures, electrical problems and lack of speed made Fernando Alonso to lose temper and to blame Honda for all.
The Japanese engine supplier promise to improve the power unit and McLaren to have better in Australia. But the gap is horrible – Alonso said he’s 35 km/h slower than the others on the straights and this is big problem for the team. 2 weeks (between tests and first stat) isn’t enough time for McLaren to fix all but just to fill the loopholes.
Faster cars doesn’t mean more overtakes
New F1 cars will be the fastest we’ve seen in the last 20 years, they will be between 3 and 5 seconds faster than 2016. And that’s was enough for the fans to decide that we’ll watch more interesting races.
But the specialists does not think so…The cars will be faster but overtakes will remain very harder. It’s not guaranteed that we will see more intrigue during the races. There’s big risk we will see driver who start from the pole to reach final first.
New tyres, fewer pits
New tyres for 2017 season make the cars to look far more aggressive. I compare them to late 80’s and early 90’s when the cars were very beautiful, but these from 2017 are just amazing.
The most important from Pirelli is that their new tyres has longer life. The drivers will be capable of running entire race with single set of tyres, predicted Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery has predicted. Official tyre supplier has been asked to produce more durable tyres and it now suspects drivers could make their single mandatory stop on the first or last lap of the race.
More physical test for the drivers
“New cars are monstrous”, said world champion Nico Rosberg during his brief visit to Barcelona. And Nico who was in the business for long know what is need to be in the first place. “It is such a massive hype at the moment, so I want to see first-hand as well, see the new cars -- they look absolutely monstrous, very, very aggressive," he said. "Everybody is excited -- it is great to see the drivers loving it. "They need to be proper gladiators out there because the cars will take them to their physical limits. We might even see drivers losing race wins just because of being game over physically. That is what we need."