Formula 1 pre-season testing in Barcelona has come to an end and on this final day the interruptions and issues with some teams reached a level we had not seen on the previous two days. Only six teams had their cars on track during the afternoon, a consequence of the problems experienced in the morning.
Haas was the worst team, which after a bad first day only completed 9 laps today. The team has other extra-competition issues to address, as we all know following the Russian military invasion of Ukraine, but on-track work has been compromised due to an oil leak. Although Günther Steiner claims the team have learned the basics of the car, some of the teams the manager hopes will be able to compete during the season have left Barcelona much better prepared, such as Williams. Bahrain will be even more important for the North American team.
Alpine, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri also stayed off the track during the afternoon – most of the midfield teams – when showing service. An example of this is Fernando Alonso’s progress in the first hour of work, until a fire broke out on the A522. Or Sebastian Vettel who completed 48 laps and with the fifth fastest time.
The performance seems to be there, and although the teams didn’t have more time on the track, it was just bad luck, but Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon still missed the chance to drive the new cars.
The teams that stood out the most on the final day of testing in Barcelona were Red Bull and Mercedes. Ferrari and McLaren were also very good, but the two teams that were in contention last season seem to be at a very high level. Fastest times and many laps completed. Even though Mercedes still suffers from the so-called “porpoising” (a kind of top-down effect, the car tends to constantly go up and down), Lewis Hamilton was the driver with the most laps and the best lap time. the day. In Bahrain we will see if any of these teams can stand out from the others, but so far the level is very similar.
A small reference to the Pirelli wet and intermediate tire test which was carried out in the afternoon. It was the first time rain tires had been tried on the 2022 single-seater at the track, but little data was collected. Daniel Ricciardo took to the track with rain tires and we quickly noticed that the intermediates were faster.
From now on, the rest will be short, with the teams having two weeks to prepare the test program in Bahrain and start the season in earnest the following week.
Laps taken on day 3 of the Barcelona tests: