It’s now time to sum up my little trip to Jerez F1 testing which resulted in three galleries and one movie (coming soon). The mood was definitely different this time, especially in the paddock where Renault Sport F1 trucks stood out from the rest – the car company is officially present in Formula 1 only as engine supplier. It’s the end of an era but that’s the way things are. I personally never look back and say, “Ah, everything was a lot better in the past!” The French V8 engines are still roaring on the track…
Pit lane looked quite empty compared to last year, with Marussia Virgin’s brand new pit wall being the only notable change. Mechanics were wearing rubber gloves when the cars would run with KERS; Cosworth race support truck with its user-friendly colours was also present (last year they operated from a normal truck). I didn’t spot anything unusual or it could be that I’m getting used to paddock excursions (courtesy of Lotus Renault GP – it’s very kind of them to supply me with these magic passes). Pirelli had a somewhat muted presence; Bridgestone would bring massive branding to the circuit in the past 4 years and it could be seen from everywhere.
Testing is obviously just a rehearsal before the real thing starts next month, so there’s nothing particularly mind-blowing about it, apart from the fact that you can observe the new cars in action and have a bit of fun. After all, full 8 hours of F1 engine noise and Spanish fans chanting “Alonsoo-Alonsoooo-Alonsoooooo!” is a rare combination. The circuit was packed with people coming from all over Spain on Saturday. Needless to say, I was stuck in a traffic jam for quite some time and then had to wait in a huge queue to get my ticket. It was almost impossible to move around on Saturday, but on Sunday things have calmed down a bit which enabled me to visit various grandstands and take a good look at the cars from all possible angles.
I won’t slip into punditry here and start predicting who is going to win what this season – it’s not my thing. I can only say Red Bull looked pretty strong all weekend, never stopping at any given point. Vettel was busy putting in laps with diabolical persistence.
So this brings my contact with the wonderful world of F1 racing to a premature end this year. I’ll concentrate on other categories for now.
PS Don’t forget to check out my Jerez road movie later on. Stay tuned.