The tests that have been carried out on February 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th in Jerez, have given much of themselves. Sauber has been the team with more laps done, and the least has been Ferrari, while Force India was the team that tested more drivers. All this and more discussed below:
Felipe Massa made the fastest time of all four days, but the Brazilian said that time does not have much value as Jenson Button, with the hard tires on the first day made a time very similar to his own, and also the track had less grip track. Therefore it means that McLaren is ahead of Ferrari, at least in terms of classification, but apparently also in race.
Both Lotus dominated the timesheets 2 of the 4 days of testing at Jerez. On Wednesday Romain Grosjean did it and Kimi Raikkonen on Friday. Lotus seems that in qualifying will be within the top 5, but in the race, it seems that this performance will be lower, so they would be in a similar situation as Ferrari.
The fifth best time was Sebastian Vettel’s, with the hard tires This suggests that the Red Bull Racing team could be very good when it comes to the race, and that the car is made by Vettel’s philosophy rather than the philosophy of Mark Webber, since the Australian was only the fifteenth fastest time of the four days with the media tire.
The Mercedes team has worked against the clock during these tests, since the first day Rosberg could not do many laps due to a fire in his car, and the second day Lewis Hamilton had problems with the brakes, so the Englishman did not do many laps, as well as his teammate. The next two days, each driver of the German team did almost 150 laps per day, a hard work, to recover the wasted time, which suggests that this team can be good in the race, but not too much in qualifying.
This would be referred to the best teams in Formula 1. On the other hand, teams of the middle of the grid do not show at all what might happen in the year, with these tests.
We have seen how the Toro Rosso goes well in classification, which suggests that they may enter more than once in Q3, and in race also seem to to go well. This allows us to think that this team would be the first in the middle of the standings.
In Sauber things also seems to go well in qualifying, which make that the entrance to the Q3 will be more disputed than ever. But in race, Sauber seems to be behind Toro Rosso.
Waiting for the release of the new car, Williams seems to be the next team in the timesheets. The team from Grove, who has trained in theory with the car used in 2012, in practice this has brought many changes, so it seems that Williams will not highlight even in qualifying, or in race. But we should be looking forward to the staging of the new car that will be presented on February 19 at the Circuit of Catalunya.
Jules Bianchi only drove on Friday, as Force India wanted the Frenchman to see the difference with the cars from 2012 and 2013. It seems that, with the third fastest time of the four days of testing, and getting the second place in the last day in which he only did 56 laps, Bianchi could be closer to achieve the only official seat that has not yet been confirmed. The Indian team looks like it may have a good race pace, similar to Sauber, but in qualifying is absolutely dangerous, as it may give surprises this year as well.
As for the two new teams from 2010 that remain on the grid, Caterham and Marussia, these seem to be closely matched in both race pace and qualifying, but both teams are far from the rest, the objective will be thus, avoid ending last.
Here you have the combined results of these four days of testing at Jerez:
|3||Jules Bianchi||Force India||1:18.175||56||Soft|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:18.565||198||Hard|
|7||Jean Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:18.760||117||Soft|
|12||Paul Di Resta||Force India||1:19.003||240||Soft|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||1:19.134||153||Medium|
|14||James Rossister||Force India||1:19.303||61||Soft|
|15||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:19.338||174||Medium|
|18||Pedro de la Rosa||Ferrari||1:20.316||51||Medium|
|23||Giedo Van der Garde||Caterham||1:21.311||152||Medium|