Two of 2015’s three pre-season tests have now drawn to a close, but there’s no reason to fret; our man Charlie is flying out to Spain to see the last bit of F1 action before lights out in Australia next month. So what can we look forward to in Barcelona Part II? Let’s take a look…
Wiley old fox Fernando Alonso had a bit of a nasty shunt on the final day of the first Barcelona test last week, thought to be caused by gusty winds around turn 3. He only suffered a concussion, but was airlifted to hospital as a precaution.
Reports indicate that he’s not gravely injured, but the double-World Champion is not going to take part in the final test. So who’s to take his place? The job’s falling to rookie of 2014 Kevin Magnussen, who was forced out of his race seat due only to bad timing. It’s going to be great to see him back behind the wheel, especially considering the fun he had tackling world champions like his team mates Alonso and Button last year.
Sauber tweaked their livery between the first and second tests. This was done by grabbing the last tin of yellow they had left at Hinwil and dashing it around the front of the car. Err, I mean contouring the nose of the car with an elegant but simple flick. Yes, that’s better.
If Sauber can tweak their paint job, anyone can. The CamoBull has been one of the most unique liveries we’ve ever seen, but Red Bull are unlikely to actually race with it, so an announcement, or a teaser could be on the cards regarding their paintwork for the rest of 2015. And perhaps we’ll see that new McLaren paint job that Ron Dennis said was definitely happening as well!
Williams – as in that team that were the best at giving Mercedes a run for their money in 2014, and employ fan favourite #BO77AS – have promised that the final test will be the time when they show their true pace, thanks to a raft of upgrades.
Speaking to Autosport, the Flying Finn said:
“We have some updates to come which are going to change the car behaviour, so there was not really any point to go into the fine details of the car balance because once we start putting new bits on [at the last test] and for Melbourne, everything’s going to change.”
The team appear to be upbeat concerning their 2015 campaign, and with Ferrari and Lotus ruling the first two tests respectively, it will be hugely interesting to see whether Mercedes, and indeed their white-clad customer team shatter the morale.
Force India’s New Car…Finally!
Force India held a livery launch back in January, and were the first to show their paint job for 2015. However, if you didn’t already know, this was actually the 2014 car with a new nose bolted on and some fresh paint.
The true VJM08 will debut at the final Barcelona test, after they brought their 2014-spec car to last week’s proceedings, and while it probably wont look too much different from the car at the livery launch, it will be interesting to see whether the back end is as tightly-packaged as the rest of the grid.
Also, it’s a new car! Who doesn’t love a good ole’ fashioned unveiling?
Allow me to put this plainly; this is the last bit of Formula 1 action before the teams go and tweak their cars ahead of the first race in March, so savour it while it lasts!
The gap between the 2014 season finale in Abu Dhabi and the new season’s first outing in Australia this year is exactly 16 weeks, and so testing helps break up the barren spell with a little glimpse of speed. There may be no actual racing, but testing allows us to see the cars (sometimes) going flat-out, and can give you an indication of how the teams will do throughout the year. This is perhaps even more apparent at final test, where the teams have usually ironed out all the kinks in their cars, and push them to the limit.
Knowing the rate that time presses on, March 15th will come around remarkably quickly, but another fortnight of Formula 1 limbo will be painstakingly lengthy for those of us without the patience of a saint/Jenson Button.
However, in that time, you could be sorting out your new Fantasy GP team, and if you fancy, booking tickets to watch the aforementioned Australian GP with us!
We won’t be heading to Melbourne, but to the fantastic Sports Bar and Grill in London, where you can enjoy a Full English Breakfast and some awesome F1 chat with around 100 other Badgerers. Get involved!