What will happen in the 2nd week of testing?
As Formula 1 nears the first race in Australia, teams continue to test their 2017 challenges at the 2nd week of pre-season testing in Barcelona. The 2nd week will allow teams and drivers to develop their cars and become accustomed to the new regulations. Mercedes seem to continue their dominance in the 1st week but the final week of testing will allow teams to use new aero parts and test the new gripper tyres.
The 2nd week will allow the teams to push the cars to maximum and find the limits of what the cars can achieve. Ferrari and #Red Bull closely matched Mercedes in every department but lap times don't paint the full picture, due to fuel loads and different aero strategies.
Can Red Bull and Ferrari match Mercedes?
The first week of testing showed a significant improvement from Ferrari and with Red Bull promising big aero updates for the second week of testing and Australia. The prancing horse has shown solid reliability and pace on the soft tyres. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel have said that the car is a significant improvement from 2016, but they still believe that is a lot of work to do to compete with Mercedes.
Red Bull, on the other hand, have shown cautious optimism with very little aero updates in the first week but the second week promised some major updates. Red Bull conscious of the fact that the TAG-Heuer branded power unit can not compete with the Mercedes and Ferrari power units. The energy drinks company have had to make a car slippery in a straight line to compensate for the lack of power.
Does testing show the teams outright speed?
Teams always try and mask their outright speed with fuel loads and aero rakes, but the speed from Mercedes and Ferrari does underline an outright pace but Red Bull has held back from full qualifying pace as they don't want to give rivals an insight.
The midfield teams, Renault, Williams, Force India and McLaren have failed to show a pace that would challenge the top three but the midfield looks exciting with four or five teams vying for fourth place in the Constructors.