The winter just got a little warmer. F1 testing has started in Barcelona giving us a sneak peek at the new cars and livery. The past three days have been eventful as we get to see the cars in action. Looking at the testing times of the first two days, the show has been stolen by Ferrari, McLaren and Haas. Is this a preview on how the 2019 season will be? It is really hard to say at this stage in the game if these results are the new trend on the grid. Defending champs Mercedes are toward the middle and bottom of the table on the first two days in the new car. Will we finally see Ferrari back on top this season? Will McLaren become contenders after years of disappointment? Will the American team prove they belong by adding some hardware to their F1 history?
The results from day 3 tell a slightly different story. Day 3 saw three red flags all cause by Haas cars. Two of the red flags were cause by the same reason. The American team discovered an issue with their ignition coil that interrupted the runs of Pietro Fittipaldi and then Romain Grosjean. Up until day 3 Ferrari had taken the top spot during testing. That is until their former development driver Daniil Kvyat clocked the fastest lap putting Toro Rosso on top of the timesheets for Day 3. Is this a sudden turn in the tables? Toro Rosso in recent years has struggled to stay away from the back of the pack. Hopefully this year shows Toro Rosso to become a competitive team.
Lewis Hamilton's statement on Ferrari:
“Ferrari are very, very strong right now,” said Hamilton, who was speaking to reporters during the lunch break on Day 3. “As you have seen, they are racking up great mileage as well and it appears that they have a better package than they had last year, which means it is going to be even more of a challenge for us this year.
“Ferrari always looks particularly strong, for the last few years they have looked very strong, so that is to be expected. For us, we are just going about our process and trying to understand, so as I said everyone is working incredibly hard.
“At the moment I don't worry about anything. I just try to focus on our job I don't know what everyone is doing, there are different fuel loads. I have been in this business a long time so I know how it goes over the first and into the second week.
“It's not a time when we need to focus on others, we let everyone else do their thing and really dig deep and focus on making sure our processes are better than ever before, that we are analyzing the data better than ever before and that from a driver’s point of view the feedback is more accurate than ever before. That is what we are trying to focus on and making sure we get though our run plans.”
It seems that even Lewis Hamilton is showing slight concerns on Ferrari's testing success, even if he says he's not worried. Either way, this season looks to be a great one with the results we are seeing in testing. Mercedes AMG has their work cut out for them. Maybe they are holding back and will dominate yet another season. After all it is only pre-season, a lot can happen in an F1 season. Take a look at Days 1-3 highlights below.