The Fall End of Formula One Testing

Continuing from our previous blog, the winter testing for the new 2018 Formula 1 teams and their cars continued. The first three days of testing were covered earlier and we have the highlights of each day post that below:

Day 4 of testing
It was an action packed day, starting off with a wet track which eventually dried up as the day progressed. We witnessed 15 out of 20 drivers hitting the track.

A Scuderia Torro Rosso hitting the track in wet weather.

Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren was P2 (second fastest) and Lewis Hamilton was P1(fastest) , but the Renault powered McLaren did it on the hyper soft tyres and the Mercedes did it on the medium tyre compounds.
McLaren finally did 100+ laps after struggling in the previous testing sessions due to reliability issues.
Scuderia Torro Rosso, with the Honda power unit, clocked the most amounts of miles in this year of testing, with a total of 147 laps.
Redbull Racing suffered a technical problem and their driver Max Verstappen could finish only 35 laps.

The STR race engineers behind the pit wall.

Day 5 of testing
McLaren were back to square 1 with only 38 laps because of a power unit failure, while Mercedes eased up to 177 laps.

Fernando Alonso in helmet looking at orange McLaren on the side of race track
Fernando Alonso with his McLaren retired for the session.

Redbull after just completing couple of laps yesterday and not setting a competitive pace did one opposite by being P3 with Verstappen following the Mercedes of Bottas which was behind the pranching horse of Sebastian Vettel in P1.
Piere Gasly got to an encouraging P5 for the sister team of Redbull, the STR.

Max Verstappen standing in front of broken down redbull
Max Verstappen with his broken down Redbull.

Day 6 of testing

Daniel Ricciardo broke the unofficial track record for the fastest lap clocking a 1:18:047 with his Redbull on hypersoft tyres

Daniel Ricciardo in between media reporters
Daniel Ricciardo with the media after breaking the record.

While Renault caught up on some serious mileage by doing over 100 laps, its customer McLaren continued with their struggles by completing only 47 laps. They assured that it’s nothing to worry as these all were minor issues.
Meanwhile, the new Alfa Romeo Sauber witnessed a crash by driver Charles Leclerc and was sent back for repairs to the pits.

Charles Leclerc walking away from broken down car
Charles Leclerc with the crashed Sauber.

Day 7 of testing

red ferrari side view on race track
Sebastian breaking the record now with his Ferrari.

Day 7 saw every team with good momentum, swallowing up more than 100 laps by each team. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel took his Ferrari out clocking a 1:17:182 to break the record of fastest lap set by Daniel Ricciardos Redbull the previous day. Vettel also got the most number of laps for the day – 188, that’s 3 times normal race distance and an approximate of 846 kms.
The Haas of Kevin Magnussen was P2 but by at least 1.5 seconds behind the Ferrari.

two haan F1 drivers with their car
The Haas F1 drivers with their beast.

Day 8 of testing

Ariel view of 2018 Mercedes and Ferrari on the tracks
The new 2018 Mercedes and Ferrari together.

Kimi set the fastest lap of the session in his Ferrari. The Samurai of Motorsports, Fernando Alonso had an engine change but hit the second spot with a 1:17. Showing positivity for the McLaren mechanics towards the closure of testing.
The American Haas F1 team showed their capability and could be a serious game changer during the season, while Mercedes sand bagging (a trick used by teams to increase weight and slowing the car down, masking its real pace) or not went out with limited power to not go all out and just concentrate on covering long distances.

Mercedes driving by with retired ferrari in background
Retired Redbull and the fast paced Mercedes.

With the Testing Week coming to an end, there have been multiple conclusions but none of which have great validity as proven in the past. These changes in the pack of the field will continue to happen and surprise us as the season matures. Watch out for the first F1 race on the 25th of March to see who the season’s first winner is and to see where your favourite driver ends up.