MADRID – Ferrari is expected to be a hot favorite to achieve big results in Formula One this season after analysts reviewed its drivers’ data on Monday in the wake of the latest pre-season tests held at Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.
Ferrari’s new single-seater SF90 version of the blood-red Prancing Horse race car showed strong performance due to its potent power plant which Germany driver Sebastian Vettel made the most of, being the fastest during last week’s testing, stopping the clock 0.397 seconds ahead of other competitors.
“Ferrari for sure is the fastest car,” said Red Bull’s Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko. “Behind that, it’s Red Bull and Mercedes,” he added.
The Italian motor racing team managed to simulate a Grand Prix race, completing a total of 598 laps, as Ferrari aspires to accumulate the necessary kilometers that will allow its new car to arrive in the best form at the season’s first race session, the 2019 Australian Grand Prix on March 15-17.
The SF90 proved, during last week’s four-day testing, to be reliable and superior to its rivals on track, while Ferrari’s drivers; the four-time Formula One World Champion Vettel and his teammate Charles Leclerc of Monaco, have expressed how comfortable to drive the new car is and how easily they could get it to deliver optimum performances.
Both drivers have been changing their strategy last week, as one was going through testing during the morning, and the other in the afternoon.
For his part, defending champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes did not show his usual dominance.
However, it seems that the German team has yet to play all its cards.
Hamilton of the United Kingdom and Finland’s Valtteri Bottas dedicated those four days to accumulating kilometers.
They notched a total of 610 laps, and are yet to show their true pace while performing with a softer tire compound during this week’s testing.
Meanwhile, Red Bull team – with a Honda motor – has completed a total of 475 laps, but its drivers Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and France’s Pierre Gasly did not show anything special.
Team McLaren did not begin well, as a spokesman said.
“There was a small fire in the garage during the team’s private filming day. The fire was quickly extinguished by the team, and circuit emergency services and medical teams attended immediately in support,” the spokesman said.
“Three team members were taken to the medical center for treatment and were released shortly after,” the spokesman added.
Team McLaren managed to complete a total of 445 laps.
The big news last week was Alfa Romeo Racing team, which was named Sauber previously, which came in third with a total of 507 laps, at the hands of its new duo; Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy, with the Finnish being the fastest in all the four days of testing last week.
In addition, Toro Rosso-Honda seemed to have done good job during winter, as the team’s drivers; Daniil Kvyat of Russia and Thailand’s Alex Albon, got the team into the fourth place with a total of 482 laps without having serious problems.
Renault completed 433 laps, Haas notched 384 laps, Racing Point-Mercedes (previously known as Force India) ran for 248 laps, while Williams completed only 88 laps.