The new motor sport season is starting, with various series completing pre-season tests, and some already up and racing. Friday saw the last of Formula One Winter Testing 2017, after two test sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona in Spain. Winter Testing is the first opportunity to see the new season’s cars on the track, and the drivers who are new to their teams getting their first experiences of their new car on the track.
It’s not always that straightforward to read what comes from a pre-season test, as teams might be trying various strategies, settings and fuel loads, so it is not always easy to compare two performances. However, there are some take aways from Formula One Winter Testing 2017, even with that in mind. There seems to be some progress at the front of the grid, with the continued strong Mercedes performance seeing some potential competition from Ferrari and Red Bull, who put in a series of fast performances. Williams were also looking fast, and even topped the table during the first day of the second test with Felipe Massa putting in a 1min 19.726s time. The rest of the days were split between Ferrari and Mercedes at the top.
At the other end of the grid, McLaren suffered with engine problems, with their best times being two seventh places in the table for Stoffel Vandoorne. There’s not long to go to Australia, and it seems that the McLaren Honda team have plenty of work to do before the first race.
I took some photos at the second test, and a couple of videos. Here is Daniel Ricciardo heading out in his Red Bull on Thursday morning:
To get an idea of the sound of the cars this year, here’s Daniel further around the circuit:
And here is Max Verstappen out in the Red Bull on Friday morning:
I did stop by to wish Daniel good luck for the season.
Here are some more photos.