With the 2016 F1 season now looming on the horizon, all eyes were on Barcelona for the testing over the weekend teaching us key things to look out for this season. Which teams stood out- and which looked like they had been left behind?
Ferrari come on leaps and bounds
Ferrari fans will be happy to know that the Scuderia appear to have a long over the winter. The new SF16-H shows that there gambles over the winter might have paid off with Sebastian Vettle feeling confident already. But how much of a step in comparison to Mercedes, is the key question of course, and how much challenging Mercedes will encounter this year? This of course will be answered in full at qualifying in Australia in two weeks time.
Mercedes are standing strong
Two years Constructor Champions and two year Driver Champion and the biggest competition this Constructor saw last year was between its own drivers. There was a clear agenda on the table for Mercedes in Spain though that couldn’t go unnoticed with Hamilton racking up 700 laps more than 10 race distances. Leading us to believe that they are focusing on reliability of their machines, Hamilton and Rosberg both staggered by the F1 W07 Hybrid.
Honda just can’t catch a break
The greatest part of a new F1 season is seeing the changing and hoping that your team comes out better than the previous year, we fear a repeat for last year could be on the cards for poor Honda. Whilst the team have returned stronger and are in a significantly better place than 12 months ago they still seem to be having issues. F1 Chief at Honda Yusuke Hasegawa agreeing that reliability is still an issue for the Honda.
HAAS took a different appropriate to former new teams by waiting until 2016 season so they could get in order. Racking up 280 laps there is no denying the team’s connection and hard working attitude with issues like the front wing on Grosjean car which went under his car on the straight being dealt with an immediate response and a resolution for day two.
Ultrasoft adding another dimension
F1 wanted a new tyre which was aimed for the street circuits for more grip with higher speeds and it seems that Pirelli have delivered hinting that the gains should be around 0.5-0.8s per lap. Which could spice things up on those tight street corners like Monaco.
Mercedes vs Mercedes
Whilst we all know the tense and some times awkward moments of last years championship of watching Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as they found it hard to compete with each other for the Championship within the same team, this year is looking to like it won’t be much different. With the Silver Arrows main competition at testing looking like it will be Ferrari the Mercedes are still it seems in a league of there own. So get ready for more hat tosses this could be interesting.
by Lucy Dickinson