Quick posting with some more chatter I’ve heard from Jerez.
First is following on from my point yesterday about the poor weather the teams have had for their pre-season tests, apparently it now looks as though none of the teams will manage to reach the 15,000 kilometres of testing agreed for this year, in fact none is likely to get beyond 10,000 kms. The testing ban comes into force with the first race and lasts until the end of the year.
Today in Jerez it was wet in the morning and dry in the afternoon, so quite a bit of productive work was done.
According to Robert Kubica, in an interview he did with an Italian colleague, this will be an advantage for BMW, as they presented early with a (largely) reliable car.
“The testing agreement represents an advantage for anyone who has prepared the car well and found reliability, ” he said. “They will be able to do well straight away and maintain their advantage. On the other hand, anyone whose car is slow or fragile will really struggle this season to recover.”
BMW has not set the world on fire with lap times over the winter, but those whose memories stretch back to last winter will recall that they didn’t seem all that fast then either. That was because they were sandbagging – carrying more fuel in the tests than is normal and more than their rivals.
Williams’ Patrick Head flagged this up last February, as I recall. He said that he thought BMW would be very strong because he was sure they were carrying extra fuel in tests and he was proved right in the opening races. BMW tend to follow set procedures, they have their own way of working and you see it in practice sessions, where they are often nowhere on a Friday and then top of the time sheets on Saturday morning. It could well be that they are at it again this winter.
Toyota continue to quietly impress. Fastest again today with Timo Glock, this car looks like it is close to the pace as well as reliable. It was genuinely only a tenth or two off the Ferrari around Bahrain. Today it did a race distance in the morning and set a quick lap in the afternoon in a qualifying simulation.
One final point on the tyre testing BMW and McLaren did for Bridgestone on the 2010 tyres. The days devoted to this work do not count towards their allowance for pre-2009 testing, they were allowable extras, but nevertheless, they have had precious little time to test for 2009.
PS – McLaren are having a bit of a mare with the rear wing. Apparently they ran both of the new 2009 rear wings and then took them off and put back the 2008 rear wing. Lots of measuring going on.. I’ll find out more on this.