The final day of pre season testing was very wet, as predicted, giving teams the chance to sample Pirelli’s wet weather tyres, but gaining little other useful data.
That’s it now for testing until after December- following the final race in Brazil.
The feeling is that Red Bull has the edge going into the first race, with Ferrari close behind and Mercedes came through the ranks to close up quite a bit of the second deficit they had to the front runners at the final test.
“We are on the up for sure, and all credit to the team for getting the upgrades on the car and, most importantly, to see that they are working as expected,” he said.
McLaren have work still to do, after another difficult week, while Renault leads the midfield runners, who are all pretty close together and the pecking order will be interesting to see in Melbourne and Sepang.
From Pirelli’s point of view the testing has now covered almost 100,000 miles and lasted seven months since they first turned a wheel at a private test.
According to them Ferrari has covered the greatest mileage with 5244 kilometres covered over the course of the 15 days running, then Mercedes (4483), Red Bull (4407), Sauber (4099), Williams (3894), McLaren (3844), Force India (3745), Toro Rosso (3737), Lotus Renault (3700), Virgin (3361) Lotus (2403) and HRT (1949).
Sauber did the biggest mileage of this final week, which was hastily put together after the cancellation of the Bahrain test and GP.
“Fernando Alonso has driven the most distance on Pirelli tyres with a total of 2826 kilometres, ahead of Michael Schumacher (2474), Felipe Massa (2417), Mark Webber (2373), Rubens Barrichello (2198) and Sergio Perez (2129),” said a Pirelli statement.
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery was on the defensive this week after some comments from drivers about the dry and wet tyres, but he stuck to his line that their tyres will make for more exciting racing, “Pirelli will respond to the requests from the FOTA and we can do all the modifications necessary, ” he said. “But for the choice of tyre they must not last more than 30 laps. From our calculations we are looking at between 2 and 4 pit stops. Just think what an advantage it will be to be able to do one pit stop less (than your rival).” A point I was making in my post at the end of the last Barcelona test.
Meanwhile HRT did not run its new car today, due to problems with parts stuck in customs, which all sounds very odd. So they will have to start from zero in Melbourne. Gazzetta dello Sport spoke to Tonio Liuzzi and has reported that the team’s budget for the season is between €45-50 million, a similar budget to Virgin Racing, but which is still a fortune to compete at the back.