All photos: Copyright © 2022 Diego Merino, Clarksport & Iberianmph
So, Barcelona, there we went again into the empty paddock and had the distinct privilege and dubious honour of staring at the empty grandstands, which might have robbed the occasion of some kind of special winter testing atmosphere – not nice, as the Iceman used to say.
The pecking order, well, we don’t know yet for sure. However, however… if you suck already in testing, then the suckage is likely to spill into the first few races of the season. There are no miracles in F1, no magic ‘bullitts’ – especially when their wind tunnel time is sort of truncated by the new rulebook.
I’d pick up Ferrari and McLaren as early solid runners, not discounting Mercs and Red Bulls in any case. Other teams still have some work to do and we’ll see about that in Bahrain, at the first “official test”.
Obviously F1 being F1, sponsors and drivers are in and out with the revolving doors principle always in action. Off went Maz and the Ural Mountains, in comes Pietro for the Bahrain test and possibly even the hairy-scary speed monster, Ferrari-backed Giovinazzi for the full-time race seat with the American outfit. It wouldn’t be the first time Formula 1 steals a talent from Formula E (Albon?). Those evil petrol-obsessed F1 bastards.
Other than that, I find it fascinating that the teams got it so horribly wrong with the ground effect and cars bouncing up and down the straights like on a merry-go-round indeed! Because normally we tend to look at the engineers and designers as technical demigods that can do absolutely anything and can make everything work. Although no doubt they will after some massive head-scratching.
Bring on Bahrain baby! I’m excited for that.
Let’s take a look back at our favourite images from Barcelona’s first official (not) testing session. Because it wasn’t a test, you see.