Pre-Season for the 2019 F1 Season is complete. All everyone has to do is wait until the 17th of March for racing to get under-way in Melbourne, Australia. But who enjoyed the last 4 days of testing and who didn’t?
McLaren’s Lando Norris ends the first day of the second week of Testing on top as Williams got off to a more productive day than last time. The Brit racked up 80 laps before an hydraulic issue stopped more running from taking place. Following closely behind in the timing sheets was Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly who completed 136 laps and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll in 3rd. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was also restricted after a cooling issue while Mercedes Valterri Bottas suffered an oil pressure issue. Mercedes had brought a new aero package along with other new things with Lewis Hamilton concentrating on long run pace. Meanwhile, George Russell was 9th for Williams and completed 119 laps – more than the team managed over their two days of running in Test 1.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr keeps the team on top after his team-mate’s performance yesterday as Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel suffer a major set back. The 4 time world champion crashed on his 41st lap of the day at Turn 3, heavily impacting the Tecpro barriers although the German was okay but ruled out any more mileage for the Scuderia for the day. After setting the fastest lap of Testing, Sainz Jr completed 130 laps along with Williams Robert Kubica although water pressure issues halted McLaren. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez was 3rd, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen 4th and Haas’s Romain Grosjean 5th. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen also had issues after stopping at the end of the pit-lane. The Mercedes of Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton finished in 8th and 9th.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ended the penultimate day of testing on top but again it wasn’t a smooth day for the Scuderia. With the chequered flag in sight with less than half an hour to go, the Monegasque parked the SF90 just after Turn 8 with smoke appearing from the rear of the car. Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly endured a difficult day after crashing heavily at Turn 9 which damaged the front and rear wings of his RB15. The third red flag was brought out for Racing Point’s Lance Stroll who stopped on track. Haas’s Romain Grosjean was limited to a handful of laps after the team detected an issue on the VF-19’s exhaust. Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon was 2nd, McLaren’s Lando Norris in 3rd and the Renault’s of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg in 5th and 6th. Williams’s George Russell completed a staggering 140 laps for the British team.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ended the final day of Pre-Season Testing on top just ahead of Mercedes Lewis Hamilton with the rivals separated by 0.003s. Hamilton took over from Valterri Bottas in the afternoon to close the gap to the Scuderia as the Italian team suffered an electrical issue on Vettel’s car early in the afternoon. Haas encountered more problems as Kevin Magnussen stopped at Turn 4 ending a issue-filled two weeks for the American team. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was 4th, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was 5th and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr in 6th. Down in 11th with 29 laps, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after gearbox issues sidelined the Dutchman but both Red Bull and Toro Rosso were encouraged by the reliability of the Honda power-units.
Conclusions from Test 2
It’s looking more likely that Ferrari are now the favourites heading to the first race of the 2019 Season in Australia. But, it’s not going to be plain sailing for the Scuderia as Mercedes are right behind. The gap on the final day is a good comparison between the to teams but nothing concrete can be said about either of the team’s actual pace.
It was not an ideal second week for Red Bull who ended in 8th in terms of mileage. The thing that can be said is the reliability of the Honda engine and power units. For both teams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso were extremely happy and encouraged by the pace and durability of these components.
With Haas suffering many issues over the course of the two weeks, it allowed rivals Renault to overtake the American team to end the second week “best of the rest”. The midfield is definitely going to be very close with Toro Rosso, Haas, Renault, Alfa Romeo and McLaren looking to claim the 4th spot. Racing Point look to be on terms with the rest of the teams but the same can’t be said for Williams, who although had a better second Test, are going to struggle come the 17th of March.
Laps per Engine Supplier
- Ferrari, 2790 Laps (Ferrari, Alfa Romeo & Haas)
- Mercedes, 2382 Laps (Mercedes, Racing Point & Williams)
- Renault, 1835 Laps (Renault & McLaren)
- Honda, 1768 Laps (Toro Rosso & Red Bull)
Laps per Team
- Mercedes, 1190 Laps (Hamilton & Bottas)
- Ferrari, 997 Laps (Vettel & Leclerc)
- Renault, 961 Laps (Ricciardo & Hulkenberg)
- Toro Rosso, 935 Laps (Albon & Kvyat)
- Alfa Romeo, 922 Laps (Raikkonen & Giovinazzi)
- McLaren, 873 Laps (Sainz Jr & Norris)
- Haas, 871 Laps (Magnussen & Grosjean)
- Red Bull, 833 Laps (Verstappen & Gasly)
- Racing Point, 625 Laps (Perez & Stroll)
- Williams, 567 Laps (Russell & Kubica)