The Formula 1 season is fast approaching and, provided you follow us on Twitter, you’ll be fully aware that I’m quite F1 obsessed. It was my childhood dream, like many people I’m sure, to become an F1 driver, however the closest I get to such feats is a casual bit of go-karting.
The pre-season test sessions are in full swing and at the moment it’s difficult to judge the relative performance of all the different manufacturers.
Newly named Lotus F1 stormed out of the blocks with their comeback King Kimi Raikkonen and new recruit Romain Grosjean taking the plaudits in early testing as they proved to be the quickest car in Jerez, however they hit significant troubles in Barcelona as the shiny new E20 chassis developed a problem that was classed so important that Lotus had to return home to address such issues.
They will be back in action for the final test session that begins tomorrow and it will be interesting to analyse how they perform. I, however, use the word “analyse” very loosely here as you can never read too much into pre-season testing!
Speaking of Lotus, it’s great to have such a historic and evocative name back in Formula 1. Lotus has achieved huge success in previous decades, such as the 60s, 70s and 80s, and it will be great to see the Lotus name back on top. If this were to happen this could also stimulate sales for the Lotus road cars, which due to their relative cost and performance, will also be eligible for a reasonable motor insurance quote. This would, naturally, boost the British motor industry further.
Another rather mixed pre-season performance has come from the prancing horse of Ferrari. They were somewhat slow out of the blocks with both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa expressing concerns. However, as the weeks have progressed Ferrari have made great strides and are tipped to be the dark horse of the top teams going into the opening race weekend in Australia on March 18th.
Unsurprisingly, Red Bull have again shown their speed. It appears that the new car is up and running without any problems whatsoever. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have been posting consistently quick lap times and they have also simulated full race runs.
McLaren have also had a reasonably strong start to pre-season. They’ve completed steady runs and currently look to be in good shape. However, as I mentioned before, pre-season rarely gives great insight to how the season will pan out and therefore we should not be reading too much into who places where during the testing sessions.
Furthermore, there has also been much talk about the design of the new cars. The front nose has a very noticeable dip in front of the front bulkhead which is, if I’m honest, really quite ugly. However, they say a winning car is a beautiful car, so it will be interesting to see what the most beautiful car will be this year…