It’s not the most attractive title I admit but that is the number of miles Mercedes have covered over the first winter test in Barcelona. It seems that yet again Mercedes have created a bulletproof car. It’s truly remarkable.
Mercedes haven’t been fast however and I know at this point lap times are irrelevant so let’s hope that during the second test which takes place on the 1st of March we start to see what kind of a car they really have. They are coasting round at the moment. Mercedes only used the medium tyre (white-marked) and didn’t even order any other compounds from Pirelli. The likes of Ferrari and Red Bull however used the super-soft tyre (red-marked) and even the brand new softer tyre available this season, the ultra-soft tyre (purple-marked).
When we get to Australia that’s when we’ll truly see if Ferrari will be able to give Mercedes a fight this year. In my opinion, it’s already over before it’s begun and for me that’s not an issue as I am a Hamilton fan and there’s nothing more I want to see than him being crowned a four-time World Champion.
Ferrari have looked very good in testing so far though. They had a fuel system problem on day three but still managed to put in 77 laps. The biggest change on the 2016 car is that they are now using push-rod suspension as opposed to pull-rod suspension that they had used for five years previously. If anyone can challenge Mercedes this season it is Ferrari but they’ll have their work cut out and I honestly can’t see them challenging Mercedes on a race-by-race basis.
McLaren, compared to last year, look like they have made a slight step forward. Button managed 84 laps and 51 laps on days one and three respectively while Alonso managed 119 laps and 3 laps on days two and four respectively. The final day was a disaster for McLaren and Alonso as the car suffered from a water leak. However, compared to last year, that’s pretty good going. Now, this is going to sound stupid at this time but I believe that McLaren are the only team that will be able to knock Mercedes off their perch because when they get it right, they’ll have a very powerful Power Unit.
The last team I am going to mention is Haas F1. They have done an amazing job. They are a brand new Formula 1 team and yet we haven’t seen any major issues, it’s like they’ve been in the sport for a couple of years already. I wish them all the best for the upcoming season.