With one week of testing in Barcelona ahead of the 2019 Formula One season already completed, we take a look at what to expect in the second and final pre-season test in 2019.
Reliability to be mostly resolved:
As is always the case in testing, breakdowns are a common occurrence. This is mostly due to the fact that this is the first time the new cars have hit the track and no matter how good your CFD and other calculations are it is almost impossible to predict whether the cars components will work in their configuration until it hits the track.
Teams try to run their cars cooling as aggressively as possible, the more cooling you have on the car the more it affects the car’s performance. Teams of course also try and run as tight as they can with the cars packaging, particularly at the rear to help with aerodynamics but there must be a compromise as cars can easily overheat and shut down.
Most teams and in-particularly Haas had dealt with an array of stoppages in the first week of testing. Some of these issues should now be resolved in-between the two tests and teams should have a more reliable running in the second test.
Lap times to fall:
With most teams starting to understand their cars more and reliability gremlins resolved we should expect more performance runs from most of the teams.
Nico Hulkenberg currently has the fastest time of a 1:17.393 on the fastest C5 compound but we expect the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari to beat that. Some may choose to sandbag like we have seen in the past but overall the majority of teams will now push their cars to see the performance potential of their 2019 car.
A better understanding of the pecking order:
It is always said that you can’t read too much into testing in terms of performance but it does always give fans and rival teams an idea of where some might stand in the pecking order.
Some already have Ferrari clear of both Red Bull and Mercedes with the reigning champions seeming to struggle with handling relatively to their rivals in the first week of testing.
Many also expect there to be a tight midfield battle behind with Renault and Alfa Romeo leading that fight. With a more central focus on performance set to take place this week, expect a clearer picture of the pecking order by the end of the test.
Plenty more car updates:
With performance runs having a higher focus this week, expect to see plenty more updates on the cars this week.
Williams in-particular should have a remarkably different car this week compared to last after the team started the test 2 days late when they failed to get the car ready in time. The teams will start to fine tune their aerodynamic packages and expect more complexity to the bargeboards and rear wing mountings.
One thing we will not see this week in tech developments is any dramatic shift in front wing concept from any of the teams. A change in concept would have a massive impact on the rest of the car and will take months to have the changes ready so teams are stuck with the concepts they have now for the first few races at least.
Plenty more laps:
With reliability sorted and more parts available to teams in the second week, it is not hard to expect plenty more running from all the teams as they look at doing more race runs and qualifying sims.
Williams won’t find it hard to beat their lap count from the first week of testing having only completed 88 laps after just a day and half’s worth of running.
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