F1 Testing Week 2: Barcelona

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The chilly Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was host to the second F1 pre-season test this weekend, with the teams looking to improve their pace over what they did in the first test in Jerez. And while the speeds increased from what they were two weeks ago the varied runs and times they teams were doing leaves a lot of guess-work in terms of were the cars rank this year.

Except of course for one. So here is a brief round-up of the teams and the news in the paddock after the second test.

Ferrari still look promising, but perhaps we all took too much optimism from the first preseason test. Even though Kimi and Sebastian put good runs in,  the team were still hampered by “teething problems” according to Vettel which reduced they’re running on Sunday.

Kimi posted the fifth fastest time of the test the Saturday on the soft tyres which certainly is a positive note for the team. As well as that; Ferrari had a mostly trouble-free weekend with the team completing almost a thousand miles worth of testing.

While they may not be as close to the Mercedes as they want to be, they do seem to have put themselves into an excellent position for the start of the season and for the development race beyond.

Williams again had a quietly successful test. They continued to put up laps all weekend and finished sixth on the timing screens after the weekend, with Felipe Massa’s time coming just a tenth shy of Raikkonen’s time which was set on the same day and on the same set of tyres.

Even more encouraging for Williams is the reliability of the Mercedes power-unit which meant that only the two Red Bull teams and Mercedes did more laps than them. Also the rising star that is Valtteri Bottas and a more confident Felipe Massa at the wheel this year could lead to Williams snatching the wins that last year were claimed by Red Bull.

Red Bulls camouflage beauty is probably another team that had a quietly successful test as they pounded around all weekend. Only Max Verstappen did more mileage than the two Dans. The young pairing looks promising and while Red Bull looks to repair their relationship with Renault after a rocky last season.

This year’s engine seems to be holding up a lot better than its predecessor so far. Also we must not forget that Red Bull had a horrid test last year and then went on and won races, so that on its own should bode very well for Horner and Co. moving towards the last weekend of testing.

The two big, and contrasting, stories of the weekend are the dominant cloud of the Mercedes team which appears to shroud the whole paddock with a sense on resignation about their chances at victories this year and the abysmal reliability of the Honda-McLaren engine.

Starting with Mercedes, who have given all of us a glimpse of just how strong their car will be this year. That first glimpse came on the second day of the test when Hamilton did his race simulation. At same time Ricciardo was doing a similar run on medium tyres and even though Hamilton was on the hard compound tyres his times were consistently a second a lap faster than the Aussie’s.

Then on the final day Rosberg’s set what would be the second fastest lap of the weekend.

Only Romain Grosjean was faster over the whole weekend, two and bit tenths faster than Rosberg, but again he set his time on the supersoft tyres and Rosberg’s time was on the mediums. The team was never going to regress this year but seeing how much they have moved forward has to be a worry for the other top teams.

The McLaren team were cautiously optimistic at the end of the first test, now they’re all hands on deck to protect their brand image from the horrors of last weekend’s test. Two MGU-K seals failed and limited the teams running over the first two days. And then Alonso hitting the wall on Sunday afternoon curtailed their running for a third day straight.

The future from here looks grim but McLaren and their fans can hold solace in two things; firstly, a bad test does not translate into a bad season, see Red Bull last year and secondly that the next test is five days which should give the team enough time to put together a few longer runs and to begin to understand the true pace of the car.

Quickly rounding off the rest field, Force India still haven’t run with this years car which is hard to spin in a good way no matter how you look at it, Sauber fell rather quickly from topping the time sheets in Jerez to also-rans this week and the Toro Rosso team seem to have the most consistent driver/car tandem on the grid strangely enough and could be in with a shout of some very good points this year, perhaps doing what Force India did to McLaren next year.

So it looks like it’s already shaping up to be a cracking season behind Mercedes, we can only hope that Rosberg and Hamilton is as thrilling the second time around as the first.

Fiach Caffrey
A young Irishmen with a passion for sports, particularly rugby, Formula 1, nfl and football. Fan of Philly Eagles, McLaren F1 team, Man Utd. (yeah yeah i know) Leinster and Irish Rugby. I also love strong cocktails, history documentaries and cold weather.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sports as We Know It May Never Look the Same Again

This lockdown has given us so many of the bad things we never really thought we'd see: widespread job loss, rampant hospitalization and deaths, and the major, sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb kind of problems in society. But, if there's something that everyone felt, it's the loss of sports. Many people said that sports is only important to sports fans, but it's becoming more evident that the purpose of sports isn't just exclusively athletic. Now, it seems like...

MLB: End Of Season Award Show 2 Cy Youngs, 2 Rookie of the Years and More!

The 2020 MLB regular season has come to an end, and with it comes playoff brackets, predictions, debates and discussions. However, we are going to save playoff predictions for another article. In this article we are going to talk about End of Season awards. Wo deserves the Cy Young awards?, Rookie of the Year? Most Valuable Player??? All of these questions and more will be answered. These are my opinions after watching the games,...

When It Comes To Israel Adesanya – Believe The Hype

If you've ever had the privilege of watching Israel Adesanya fight, you know that he is the perfect example of handcrafted precision. In his most recent fight, so many people felt this would be the fight that would finally DE-thrown the champ.  They felt Paulo Costa had the advantage because of his size, his strength and his overall power. If you've seen Costa, you know he's like a modern day Hercules. Costa's punches are explosive and...

2020 NBA Finals: A Champion Will Be Crowned

The stage is set. After a few short months that involved an eight game restart season and a very unique postseason,  the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat will face each other for the first time in the NBA Finals. There are a lot of storylines that will unfold during the duration of the Finals, but the main storyline will have to be LeBron James facing the team that helped him win two championships....

Memorable Test Match Innings: Kevin Pietersen at the Oval 15 years on

“I saw this innings via a social distancing gap between myself and the television. To truly have the visceral thrill of Pietersen’s 158, you needed to be at The Oval on 12 September 2005.” “Just because I've got a stupid haircut or diamond earrings, it's not going to make me cover drive a ball any differently.” Kevin Pietersen arrived on the international scene in full technicolour. In early 2005, KP entered the lion’s den of his...

Tewatia plays blinder as Rajasthan chase historic total to beat KXIP

Rahul Tewatia hit 5 sixes in an over as Rajasthan Royals chased down the highest score in Indian Premier League history to beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets on Sunday. Tewatia hit Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in the 18th over and added another six of the next ball he faced as Rajasthan chased down 224. Jofra Archer hit 13 from 3 balls to see the side home. Rajasthan beat their own record – they...

NRL Finals Loom as Regular Season Concludes

The first fixtures of the National Rugby League's finals series are locked in after the final round of the regular season came to an end today. The Competitors While Penrith Panthers had already secured the minor premiership and the top eight were determined two rounds ago, some key positions were still open and the race for those positions made for some entertaining footy. The Newcastle Knights failed to hold sixth place, going down on Friday to a...

Russian GP – Race Preview

Russian Grand Prix can be a boring race so let's hope this race gets off to a great start. The only memory I have of the Russian GP is Valtteri Bottas letting Lewis Hamilton win. Last race at Mugello was an exciting race. With two red flags and one horrible crash. And Ferrari 1000 celebration wasn't the best either, but that might be because of the strict rules now during COVID 19. So I am happy...

Benny Leonard: Always A Champion

If you sat down with a group of boxing fans under the age of say, 50, and began to talk about whether Benny Leonard really is a Top-10 all-time fighter, you'd probably have a cacophony of voices barking at you about how great "Sugar" Ray really was. Tell them you were talking about Benny Leonard though, and you might hear a lot of "Who's that?" from the same group. But Benny Leonard most definitely belongs...

The Green Light: The Rugby Championship 2020

In what has been a challenging year for many rugby fans and mainly the players, the Southern Hemisphere's Rugby Championship 2020 tournament has just been confirmed for the back end of the season. The Rugby Championship tournament - previously known as the Tri-Nations - was inaugurated in 1996 with the three rugby-rich countries; Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, all contesting for the converted trophy. In 2012, the tournament expanded to add the South...

Social Connect


Trending Now

AFL Finals Locked In

This weekend's results conclude the heavily disrupted Australian Football League regular season, turning attention towards the Finals series in October. Across 18 rounds spanning six...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x