As pre-season testing comes to an end, the 2022 season kicks off on a hot and dusty Bahrain circuit this weekend only 3 months after the final race of 2021.
Sunday’s F1 Grand Prix should be a riveting feast of racing for Formula1 fans as the new 2022 rules provides for much closer following distances than previously allowed. The idea being that drivers can literally tail gate the car in front which will suit windy hot conditions and perhaps help with several teams including Mercedes who have battled with vehicle “porpoising” throughout testing. It should amount to a lot more pressure on drivers trying to keep those faster on the straight in their rear view mirror.
Outcomes post Pre-season testing:
Ferrari – Ferrari had the most consistent form across the six days of pre-season running of any team. Drivers, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerk, both putting in fast consistent laps and showing the reliability of the Ferrari. The dancing horse was quick in testing and certainly set the early pace.
RedBull – Another team that showed consistency throughout the Pre-season testing with the team unveiling its brand new RB18 car, with their self-developed engine on the last day of testing. Max Verstappen, fresh off his first championship win in the 2021 season, stepped up the heat with a blistering 1.31.7 lap that set more than a few tongues wagging.
Mercedes – Pre-season was not kind to Mercedes and their car has looked a handful to drive throughout pre-season testing. They have battled with the vehicle porpoising – or bouncing – when they try to lower its ride height to improve traction and handling. With the Bahrain track hot and hard with added windy conditions, this may create a real headache for the team
McClaren – During testing in Bahrain, McLaren had a really tough week with overheating brakes that limited their running, and took them from a position of strength to a team that will have a lot to learn when free practice starts on Friday. Reliability as always is going to play a factor and they will have to fix their issues to have any chance here.
HAAS – The HAAS team arrived at Pre-season testing in Barcelona with a car that caught everyone’s attention given the massive amount of work put into it after they sacrificed 2021 to focus on the new rules. But having faced freight delays, reducing testing time and, the removal of their biggest sponsor and termination of the contract of one of their drivers has put them at a disadvantage. The addition of new driver Kevin Magnussen has definitely had an impact and they could well be the new challengers for the season in the mid to top of the rankings
Alpine – With their new power plant in place it could be a great season for the team. There is much enthusiasm that they have turned a corner this season
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