F1 Testing: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 on final day in Barcelona (Update)

Observations from the Test

  1. No one has shown their full hand yet.
  2. Mercedes and Red Bull still appear to be the teams to beat
  3. Ferrari appears like they are ready to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull for wins given they never bolted on soft tires over the 3 days.  The Italians are definitely sandbagging.
  4. Aston Martin has closed the gap to the top-3 teams, with Vettel’s times less than a second off, which was not the case last year.  If their form holds, we could see Vettel or Stroll on a podium or two.
  5. We’re not sure about McLaren yet, as their fast times, like Ferrari and Verstappen, were set on the medium tires.
  6. Alpine, Haas, Williams and Alpha Romeo will not be challenging for race wins any time soon.
  7. Reliability was an issue for some teams, but that was to be expected during the first test and with all-new cars
  8. The teams need to get a handle on the porpoising issue
  9. The next test, in Bahrain, will give us a better idea of the pecking order.

February 25, 2022 

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Mercedes have picked up right where they left off with the old cars, and gone 1-2 in preseason testing in Barcelona.

With 15 minutes left in the session Lewis Hamilton strapped on a set of red C5 tires (the softest Pirelli brought to the test) and turned the fastest lap of the 3-days, to edge out his new teammate George Russell by 0.1s, also on C5 tires.

The Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen were 3rd and 4th, Perez on C4 tires and Verstappen on the medium yellow C3 tires.

#1 Max Verstappen never tried the soft tires and ended up 4th overall.

Sebastian Vettel’s time of 1m19.824s from the morning session held up to round out the top-5 for Aston Martin.

If not for Vettel sneaking in at P5, the results would have been teammates side-by-side thru the entire top-10. The car remains 99% of the equation in F1.

Final Day 3 Barcelona Test Times

Pos Driver Team Time Tire Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.138s C5 89
2 George Russell Mercedes 1m19.233s C5 66
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1m19.556s C4 68
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m19.756s C3 59
5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1m19.824s C5 48
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m19.831s C3 44
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1m20.072s C3 86
8 Alex Albon Williams 1m20.318 C4 88
9 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1m20.699s C4 13
10 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1m20.750 C3 80
11 Lando Norris McLaren 1m20.827s C3 52
12 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1m21.242s C3 12
13 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 1m21.939s C3 41
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1m22.469s C4 40
15 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1m26.229s C3 9
16 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1m30.433s C3 10


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