Well, it’s over, winter testing, and we’ve about 7 days left to speculate before the truth emerges. I t has definitely been one of the more interesting winter seasons, all new cars, and much speculation on various levels of speed and thoughts of sand-bagging.
The big surprise has been the BrawnGP car, very fast, seems reliable, experienced team, but is it genuine, or smoke n’ mirrors
McLaren, a complete pup to begin with, slowly being sorted out via flow-viz, and a “lets make lots of parts cos’ some are going to work” approach, or a cleverly planned scheme to lull everyone into a false sense of insecurity….
Ferrari, strangely low key winter, not really sure where they stack up, the car hasn’t really changed substantially, and it is about on the pace, but either they’re sand-bagging a little, or not really on absolute front running pace.
BMW, similar to Ferrari
Toyota, has shown flashes of pace, but hard to quantify, could be good, could be mid field, seem to lack that final spark that wil push them to the front
Renault, similar situation to McLaren, although more a reflection of Forum comments than actual fact, as the car has evolved, but nothing like the same degree McLaren has changed, as it does seem to have been a much more structured process. Again, not sure of their true pace, Alonso always looks in good in the car.
Red Bull/Toro Rosso, car appeared with a great amount of favourable comment, and was quick out of the box, but has stayed at the same level, whereas the others have moved forward, back to mid field again…
Williams, a real sleeper, have stayed fairly low key until the last few days when they really picked the pace up, appearing to be fast, reliable and ready to mix it with the big manufacturers again.
Force India, definitely closer than previously, but as we know winter testing can be deceptive, and I still think they will be propping up the field come race weekend, but they have moved up a notch in their technical capabilities.
Of course, everything we’ve seen so far could all be bollocks, and normal service could be resumed come Melbourne, but I’ve enjoyed the winter season, and will miss the speculation once the racing starts and we all know who’s where.
Let’s go race