Ferrari ended the second and final testing week on top of the fastest lap leader board, promoting speculation that they could be right in the fight with Mercedes in the 2017 season, or even be the team to beat.
Kimi Raikkonen posted the quickest time of the entirety of testing, completing a tour of the Circuit de Catalunya in 1 minute 18:634 on the supersoft tyres. Compatriot Valtteri Bottas in his first outings with Mercedes produced a fastest lap on 1:19.310, some 0.6 seconds slower that his fellow flying Finn.
Red Bull however, Mercedes’ closest challengers in the 2016 season finished a bit further back, hinting at the idea the Renault engine isn’t quite as quick as they had imagined and could be third in the three horse race for the 2017 Constructors Trophy. The quickest time from testing for the RBR Team being a 1:19.438, 0.7 seconds adrift of Raikkonen’s pace and Verstappen’s time set on the softer ultrasoft tyre.
Completing the so called big-four, McLaren and their ever unreliable Honda engine. Their torrid time of pre-season testing got worse on the final day when their car broke down twice on the final day, completing just 43 laps and some 2.7 seconds behind the front runners.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though for the Scuderia, whom suffered an electrical glitch on track, but this did not damage their day too much, finishing the day completing 111 laps.
Laps completed per team…
Mercedes – 1096
Ferrari – 956
Williams – 800
Sauber – 788
Force India – 785
HAAS – 715
Red Bull – 684
597 – Renault
Toro Rosso – 584
McLaren – 425
Looking at this shows that the Mercedes and Ferrari engines are definitely the more reliable of the 4 suppliers, with the Renault powered teams mid-to-lower table, with the unreliable Honda bringing up the rear.
The final day saw 6 of the 10 teams produce 100 or more laps on the track, so it was a fairly busy day. Not just for the teams though, as 6 of the teams also suffered breakdowns meaning the recovery vehicles had their work cut out too.
So what do you guys think? Are Renault and Honda going to be able to compete with the every improving and impressive Ferrari and Mercedes teams? Furthermore, who is going to be on pole position in just over two weeks time in Australia?
Let us know your thoughts!