The first pre-season test in Jerez was a revelation in terms of who went well and who did not. One of the talking points to emerge was the gap in lap times set by this year’s cars and those set at the Spanish circuit last year.
This year, McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen set the week’s fastest time with a lap of 1:23.276. In 2013, however, Felipe Massa went quickest, recording a lap time of 1:17.789 on third day of the four-day test.
The more than five-second gap raised a few eyebrows but teams were quick to point out this year’s opening test focused almost entirely on getting the complex new cars up and running reliably, with performance hardly figuring in their run plans. Indeed, it was confidently predicted by many that times will drop as more test miles are completed.
“In Bahrain, I think we can start to work on the performance of the car,” said Adrian Sutil in the wake of the week in Jerez. “The temperature will be close to race conditions and we will have a different package on the car.”
Nico Rosberg, too, confirmed that lap time hadn’t been a concern in Jerez. “Nothing was all-out, not even the driver,” he said. “It was just important to do a lot of kilometres.”
So, the big question is by how much the lap times drop next week and who’ll make the most progress in terms of performance? Some teams say that it will only be at the sec on Bahrain test at the end of the month that we will see the real performance parts coming onto the cars ready for the first race of the new season.
So who will set the pace in Bahrain #1?
And that’s the puzzle we want you to partly solve. We’ve got five copies of James Allen on F1 – 2013: Winning at all Costs to give away to five people who correctly predict which driver will set the fastest lap of the Bahrain test from February 19-22. Prizewinners will be chosen randomly from among those who make the correct prediction.
No need to give us lap times, though your predictions are welcome. Just tell us which driver will set the week’s quickest lap and once the test is over we’ll get the books on their way to the winners. Naturally enough, entries close on the evening of February 18.
For those not lucky enough to win, we do still have a handful of copies of JA on F1– 2013 available to order. It’s a limited edition collectable, so once this run has sold out, that’s it. Copies will be despatched to most countries around the world. To order yours and to be sure of getting one of the final copies click on this link: http://shop.jamesallenonf1.com/Info/Book.html