Monster or garbage? F1 tests as a cornerstone of truth

The Formula-1 teams worked intensively on their bolts for the new season during the winter. Before the test runs, the tension is to grasp.

Sebastian Vettel whipped in his knees. His grin also revealed the sheer anticipation of the first trip with the new Ferrari SF71H. When you see the car as a whole for the first time, you just want to get in and go,”said the four-time Formula One World Champion in the presentation of his new”Red Goddess”.

From Monday on, the tailor can finally give gas to the test runs in front of the gates of Barcelona, and perhaps he will get an idea, whether he can challenge world champion Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes again this year.

“The ideal scenario is that we throw out the front. I would not have been caught up in that,” Vettel said in the “RTL” interview and added relativistically: “I think we have done well. Where we stand, we do not know.”

Spin around, understand car

Sergio Marchionne will also look forward to the Circuit de Catalunya. The ambitious Ferrari boss wants to know if his engineers created “a monster or garbage”. After the black autumn 2017, which cost Vettel all title chances, the Italian Canadian in any case demands no less than the World Championship win.

Too much knowledge should not be expected from the total eight test days (26. February to 1st March, 6th to 9th March). The teams are not interested in putting all the cards on the table before the season starts on the 25th of March in Melbourne.

Rather, the motto is to make as many rounds as possible to understand and refine the new car. However, those who were good at the tests in the past were among the best at the sharp start of the season.

Halo encounters little reluctance

The rule has remained largely stable compared to the previous year, when formula 1 undergoes a “macho cure” with larger cars and tires. Nevertheless, the whole PS circus is talking about a new element: the mandatory cockpit protection Halo.

“If you give me a chainsaw, I will simply cut it off,” said Mercedes Motorsport Chief Toto Wolff last. Above all, the Austrian is disturbed by the appearance of the titanium structure, which is intended to protect the heads of drivers even more effectively in the event of accidents.

Also Hamilton, who, like Vettel this year, can open up to the legendary Argentinean Juan Manuel Fangio (five World Championship titles), Can’t quite make friends with the look of the “alien” on his car.

For the engineers it is difficult to add that the roughly 14 kg heavy halo influences the driving behaviour. The use of aerodynamic elements, at least for testing purposes, would therefore not be a surprise. And Hamilton has at least one other advantage besides security: “You can also use the halo as an advertising space.”

Ferrari is eager for Mercedes

From a technological point of view, you could get the impression in the presentations that everyone was looking out for something. Ferrari, for example, has extended his bicycle stand and is thus pursuing Mercedes. In the side boxes, some teams have bought off the Ferrari from 2017, and and.

As “All-Winner” of the last four years Mercedes is considered as a reference before the first tests. The industry primus, however, warns with duty. Ferrari and Red Bull, but also McLaren, Renault or Williams, Wolff said. The power ratios will reveal themselves in Barcelona

at least a little.