The Australia Grand Prix is just days away, and all the Formula 1 teams are busy testing their new cars in Spain. And after two weeks of testing, four days each in Jerez and Barcelona, the teams have gathered enough data to understand how their cars are actually behaving on the track.
Although another test is still scheduled before the start of the season, but the first two outings have given us enough evidence of how the cars are performing. The teams have been extensively testing to click the up laps and cover the required mileage they need to gather data and information for the new season.
There hasn’t been an enormous change in the pecking order from last year, but few teams have made some positive strides over the winter. Mercedes is still looking like the team to beat this season, and their dominance is set to continue in 2015.
But unfortunately, some teams, especially McLaren, are having some early issues with their respective packages. So let us take a peek at how the grid is shaping up for the new season and try to take a stand on how the teams will fare against each other. Here follows a team-by-team form-book analysis after the two pre-season tests.
Sauber had a forgettable 2014 season, during which the team failed to score a single championship point. The team’s new car, the Sauber C-35, hopes to be the Swiss outfit’s savior, and right from the word go; the team was busy setting the timesheets on fire during the first test at Jerez. But the word in the paddock was that the Sauber boys were doing glory runs (with low fuel, weight alteration and full power). The team, of course denied this, but by Barcelona, the venue for the second test, their pace actually faded away.
Taking one rookie and one fairly inexperienced driver was always going to be a gamble for Sauber. But having the third and eleventh fastest time, and getting 700 laps in mileage, in both the tests, is a huge improvement from last year. However, credit for that might go to the newly ameliorated Ferrari power unit, rather than the car itself. Whatever might the reason be, there is still a general feeling that the team will once again make up the rear of the grid, despite the early promises.