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  1. #1
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    The 2019 Formula 1 testing thread

    Well without even turning a wheel, it appears that the Williams will be the slowest car on day one of testing.

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/a...rupNhR5Y4.html

    Are things going from bad to worse? Having some drivers that should help them develop the car is a great thing, but to miss the start of testing doesn't show much promise.

  2. #2
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    Renault are using last year's car , with this year's front wing , I believe I've read , so not so bad for team Willy .

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    Senior Member truefan72's Avatar
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    I hate this new tire designation. Just call them soft, medium and hard.
    you can't argue with results

  4. Likes: airshifter (20th February 2019),Duncan (1st March 2019)
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    Junior Member Samouri's Avatar
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    I just hate the new similar McLaren orange color, that the Scuderia have decided to use for the F1 SF90 to run, instead of a traditional Italian red.

  6. #5
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    Well so far Ferrari are topping the charts, but as usual Mercedes aren't showing their hand at all. A few teams are putting in some long tests, including Ferrari.

    So far the quickest times are about a second slower than last year, so we will see if that prediction on the regs changes holds up to that gap.

    Williams hasn't turned a lap yet, but it looks like they may be getting close.

  7. #6
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    Things are looking rather gloomy for McLaren. From what I've heard, their pace in long runs has been quite poor. If you wanted 2019 to be a leap forward for them, well, guess again.

  8. #7
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    Team Willy really is in a mess .
    Speculation has it that department heads rolled after last year's debacle , and there was some grumbling about it .
    Now there's talk of suspension parts not fitting , so it looks like there's some friction between the different departments still , or at least some communication trouble at best .

    At worst , someone's pushing on the rope .

  9. Likes: airshifter (21st February 2019),Duncan (1st March 2019)
  10. #8
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    First Testing is over and it seems Ferrari has the legs over everybody. Mercedes seem to be still needing work to find the sweet spot of the car. And Redbull seem to be right up there with Mercedes but behind Ferrari. I think this picture might change by the end of testing two next week. But it would be great for Redbull to be well in the mix of Ferrari and Mercedes this season to give us a chance to see Verstapenn have a real go at a title fight with Hamilton, Vettel and Leclerc.

    The midfield looks closer than ever. Nearly all the teams in the midfield bar Williams completed at least one hundred laps at this test which suggest that reliability is good in the midfield and there are good speed demonstrated by most of the teams. If this continues to Melbourne, the midfield is going to be a jungle of closely matched fast cars with two or three teams good enough to snatch fourth place in the 2019 F1 championship.

    The Alfa Romeo and Renault seem to be at the top of the midfield and may well split off from the midfield into a separate mini group for the fourth place battle. The Haas and the Toro Rosso seem to be the leaders of the rest of the midfield with the capability of making cameo appearances in the fourth place group battle.

    The Mclaren seem quick for a change but seem to be still dogged by its old problems. The car seem to be behind in its development compared to leading competition in the midfield. That said, the issues with last year's Mclaren has been resolved and the car was very quick in Sainz's hands.

    Racing Point has turned up with a very capable car but seems to be lagging behind the Renault and Alfa but seem to be as quick as the Haas. I think they would find more speed by the end of the second testing sessions next week.

    I think we are in for some great races this season with interesting actions happening at the front and in the midfield. It would be very tight at the front and in the midfield. Hence, the differences between teams that do well and teams that do not, would be down to great race operations at race weekends, this means getting their car setup right for the track efficiently, making flawless pitstops and making the right decisions at the pitwall.

    I think we may be in for a bizarre leader board for the constructors and driver championships at halfway through the year and possibly at the end of it.

    One thing is clear, Mercedes is feeling the pinch of the rule changes for 2019. The reduced downforce imposed on the front wing by the regulations for the 2019 season has not resulted in slower cars this season. The cars seem to be just as fast as their fastest 2018 car and look likely to be faster with coming developments leading up to the race at Melbourne.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 23rd February 2019 at 08:55.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  11. #9
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    Second and final winter testing is over. The fear that Mercedes was half a second adrift of the fast Ferrari was put to bed by a late surge by Hamilton who posted a very closely matched time [1.16.224] to Vettel's best time [1.16.221]. But Leclerc claims there is more in the Ferrari, which would suggest the Ferrari might be able to do high 1.15 times if pushed hard. Of course, we do not know if there is more time in the Mercedes as well. Whichever way you look at it, we are set for another closely matched battle between Ferrari and Mercedes. And like the last two years, Ferrari has a better car and a clear pace advantage at the opening stage of the season.

    Another observation is Leclerc is much faster than Bottas, which may mean, Mercedes may have a difficult fight for the constructors title. The fast end of the midfield is closer to the sharp end of the grid than it has been for some time. Redbull claims to be as fast as the Mercedes but there was no real evidence to support that claim. Though the Torro Rosso was posting very fast times which most would think was on very light fuel. Personally, as of the end of the second testing, l cannot really tell where Redbull is on the pecking order. And it is worrying to see that they have had so many reliability issues already which l think may be the hallmark of their 2019 season. On paper, the Mercedes is well ahead of the Redbull and closer to the Ferrari.

    Renault is showing very good pace. But Haas and Alfa Romeo were very tame in the final testing. Hence, it is unclear which of those teams is really the clear leader of this mini group that would be pecking on the heels of the Redbull. The question here is, is Redbull adrift of Ferrari and Mercedes such that they are in the reach of the Renault, Haas and Alfa Romeo. We saw this happen at the start of the 2018 season where the Haas was a real bother for Redbull. With the problems that they have had in the final Testing, it would seem they would have similar problems but this time from three very fast midfielders.

    Behind the Renault bunch are some very closely matched and very fast lower midfield cars with Torro Rosso leading this pack, followed by Mclaren which is showing better pace and handling than their 2018 car. Closely matched by the Racing Point with Williams taking the rear of the grid.

    I kind of expect the order to change slightly when we arrive at Melbourne Australia as some teams may bring more updates to the cars from lessens learnt from the closing stages of testing. It is going to be a harder season for Mercedes with Ferrari having two closely fast drivers. Chances are Hamilton would not only be fighting Vettel for positions, he would also have to keep an eye on Leclerc who l expect would be posting very close times to Vettel in qualifying.

    If there is such a time for Ferrari to win the F1 Drivers and Constructors Titles, 2019 offers a better opportunity than ever. That said, Ferrari is going against the the best driver and team of the hybrid era. Being fast is not enough, this has been the lessen of the last two seasons. Being reliable, efficient and consistent is key to winning the title in the face of the best driver and team of this era. So, is Ferrari ready to win the title or titles? Can they raise their operational game to match what they have achieved on the engineering front?

    Well bring on Melbourne and lets find out.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 2nd March 2019 at 19:49.
    Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
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  13. #10
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    Great summary Nitrodaze.


    I think history shows that Mercedes sandbag more during testing usually, but get the impression that Ferrari might be doing a little more sandbagging than usual this year. Both will still lead the field IMO, but I think some of the advantage Ferrari might seem to have will show up to be more like last year. That being both cars are strong in certain areas, but overall very well matched. At the front of the pack I think the drivers ability will play more a part in the WDC and constructors titles than it has in recent years.

    Tier two cars... I'm still on the fence but agree that Renault, Alfa and possibly Haas seem to be there.

    I think RB is still a top of the pack car in performance, and able to trade blows with the Merc and Ferrari. But only time will tell if the reliability improves enough to make them a threat over the season. When you consider the number of car related DNFs they had last year, 4 wins is fairly amazing. But I also suspect that Gasly will not challenge as well as Ricciardo did.


    But overall except for the front of the pack, I think the combination of the new cars has tightened things up some. Combined with the new (and old) blood in the cockpits, I think there is a great chance of seeing some real shake ups this season. I sure hope so.

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