The F1 testing at Barcelona finished today, giving us a slightly clearer picture of the relative performance of the different cars and the new Pirelli tyres. In 2010, the fastest lap was a 1min20.4sec time set by Lewis Hamilton. The new Pirelli tyres appear to have significantly less grip, as well as much faster degradation. The fastest time set by Massa today was over 2 seconds slower than 2010. Part of this may be due to restrictions regarding the rear diffusers, however the cars have KERS this year, as well as an adjustable rear flap to reduce drag on the straights.
Red Bull probably start the year as favourites, given their consistent pace throughout the test as well as large number of laps completed proving their cars’ reliability. Ferrari are also right up there, albeit possibly slightly off the pace of Red Bull. McLaren look like they have problems, especially when the car is driven by Lewis Hamilton – he can’t seem to get used to the new tyres. It might be a really tough year for him! Some of the drivers who had trouble qualifying in 2010 appear to like the Pirelli tyres and could do well in 2011. For example, Massa and Button.
Best times for each driver are below:
|20-Feb||Petrov||Lotus Renault GP||1:23.463||0.838|
|21-Feb||Heidfeld||Lotus Renault GP||1:23.657||1.032|
|19-Feb||Di Resta||Force India||1:25.194||2.569|