Ferrari are quickest in 3 out the 4 days but Mercedes complete the most laps by far so it seems the gap has slightly closed but we won’t really find out till Melbourne.
Mercedes’s best ever test
The amount of laps Mercedes did was very impressive and shows the reliability of the car. Over the 4 days of testing, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton managed 675 laps between them. The WO7 was reliable and the team and drivers did not push for lap times and was tested purely on reliability.
Haas are a force to be reckoned with
Despite a front wing failure for Romain Grosjean on Monday, testing went really good for the American team as Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez managed 281 laps between them, more than McLaren and Manor. Despite the team only entering this year, the car that they have produced is really smart and clever in design.
Renault improve as the test goes on
The test improved for Renault as the short test went on. Jolyon Palmer ran on days 1 and 2 and faced the difficulty of reliability and completed 73 laps. When Kevin Magnussen took over, the luck changed and Magnussen was able to complete over a 100 laps on days 3 and 4. Overall Renault was 7th in the laps completed chart.
Difficult test for Palmer
As one of the 3 new drivers entering the sport this year, its fair to say that Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was the one who had the most difficult of test. Palmer ran on day 1 and 2 for Renault and ran into problems on on both days including a power unit failure. Palmer completed just 73 laps compared to team-mate Kevin Magnussen who completed 264 laps on days 3 and 4.
For the rest
Ferrari were quickest on days 1, 2 and 4. Sebastian Vettel ended the test quickest on a 1:22:810 and it was on the new Ultrasoft tyre. Ferrari only suffered a fuel system problem which hampered Kimi Raikkonen on day 3. Both Vettel and Raikkonen like the SF16-H as the major change on the car is the push-rod suspension which Ferrari have reverted back to which also Vettel and Raikkonen prefer.
When Ferrari had the fuel system problem on day 3, Force India and Nico Hulkenberg were their to pick up the pieces and went quickest. First impressions show that Force India have caught Red Bull and Williams. But this could change as Williams did not show much throughout the test and remained in the shadows. Daniel Ricciardo set the 4th fastest time for Red Bull in the test and both Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat completed 369 laps between them.
Sauber ran their 2015 car as their 2016 version will arrive at the next test, so this was just practise for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson. But this did not effect them as they completed 426 laps between them, the 3rd highest laps completed during the 4 days behind Torro Rosso and Mercedes.
Torro Rosso ran a plain blue livery during the test as the team is yet to unveil the seasons livery on the 29th of February. They did manage the 2nd highest amount of laps during the test with 447 laps between Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.
McLaren had a decent but not the best of tests as the team suffered an hydraulic leak on day 3 and then a coolant leak on day 4. Jenson Button ran reliably on the opening day and Fernando Alonso ran on day 2. Button then ran on day 3 and Alonso on day 4. Between them they both completed 257 laps, only 3 laps more than Manor.
As it it just the first test, the times don’t really matter right now at this moment in time. Reliability and how many laps the team and drivers do is more important.
March 1st – 4th: Barcelona, Spain