Back in 2014 F1 entered a new era with the new V6 Turbo Power units and to say the least they were reasonably slow.
The pole time around Catalunya in 2014 was a 1:25.232 which is nowhere near the lap record, in 2015 the pole time was a 1:24.681, not much quicker than the pole time in 2014.
2016 saw a steady increase in lap times, this was because of Pirelli adding a third compound of tyre which was usually softer compared to other years.
2016’s pole time was a 1:22.000 this was a full 2.6 seconds quicker than 2015, this was the case for a lot of circuits in 2016 because of softer compounds being used.
Hamilton’s 2014 pole lap and Rosberg’s 2015 pole were set on medium tyres, Hamilton’s pole in 2016 was set of softs but how much quicker the car was in 2016 shows that progress was made.
The regulations for 2017 mean that the cars are significantly quicker than their predecessors, this is because of the increased aerodynamics and the significantly wider rear tyres which gives the driver’s more mechanical grip, this means they can push through the corner’s and take them flat out.
The quickest laptime around Catalunya in testing was a 1:18.634 set by Kimi Raikkonen, looking at his lap there certainly is a lot more laptime to come.
The all time fastest lap of the circuit de Catalunya is a 1:18.339 set by Felipe Massa during a in-season test in 2008, expect this to beaten in the Spanish Grand Prix as the 2017 cars will be even quicker by then!
Expect new lap records at nearly every circuit this year as these cars will be the quickest that F1 has seen.