Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Testing Times

I know it comes up every year, but I never cease to be amazed by the fascination I have with the times set during testing. Yesterday you could be excused for thinking that Williams are about to set the world alight. Today, I'm thinking that Renault are still there or thereabouts.

Rumours of problems with the Mercedes engines in the McLaren are rife, and Ferrari are still setting their fastest times with the V10 powered 2004 car. Red Bull seem to have miraculously fixed their chassis problems (I can't believe it's that simple) and Toyota and making comforting noises about their performance.

The trouble is that we really have no idea what configuration cars are being run in. Even if they do a race simulation, they may be running with more (or less) ballast than they would for a race. Nobody really wants to show their hand, but still it's necessary to find out where you are.

Ferrari often test alone, and in some way I can understand that. A team has to have the mentality that it needs to improve, regardless of what the opposition are doing. You shouldn't really be any more motivated by knowing that you are a second off the pace.

But it's human nature to work harder when you know you are behind. And you can also see what other times are trying with their aero packages, and get an idea of works. But it's getting much closer to the real thing now. Just three weeks until the first practice session of the season, so not much time for any team to make big changes. Roll on Bahrain.


At 3:06 PM, Blogger Roy (linksheaven.com) said...

I remember (sadly departed) Jordan used to put in these stunning test times, sign a few sponsors and then mysteriously disappear to the back of the grid on race day.


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