Formula 1: What are the Improvements and What Have We Learned so Far?
This July, on the Formula 1 circuit, various teams are set to either set new records or die trying (excuse the harsh words!). Mercedes, carried by Lewis Hamilton, have been testing their Mercedes engines with rumors of new engines and innovations; but Mercedes is yet to verify any of these rumors. It is, however true that Mercedes still remains a team to be reckoned with, having set benchmarks in trial runs pre-season
Mercedes and Hamilton
According to the six-time world Champion, the w11 Mercedes engine currently in place is faster and an improvement coming out of 2019. According to Hamilton, ‘it’s better than last year’s car’, which he states might be the same for everyone else on the circuit. During Mercedes’ test run, it was the fastest out of the box, leaving a finish time of 1:15.732 which remained unbeaten, and also set the standard for all other tests to come. Subsequently, Mercedes now seems like it will be the favorite or deemed most likely to win when the races begin this July. There are, however, glitches here and there as well as tweaks that they have been working on, pre-season. At a certain point, Hamilton stated that they were on their third engine, owing to the fact that many had glitches needing fixing and evaluation in UK. One of these glitches was an anomaly with oil-pressure, which had him sent switch off the car at some point during tests and on the circuit. Mercedes also had the most number of laps completed per team, at 903, with Ferrari trailing at 844, McLaren at 804, Racing Point at 782 and Red Bull at 780.
Ferrari and Charles Leclerc
Ferrari has been a major contender for the Championship, and tests are not far from that either. With Charles Leclerc behind the wheel, Ferrari seems ready to take on the Hamilton and his team, although cars for the season like Red Bull are offering stiff competition. Ferrari’s run was noted to have speed and consistency, something that many experts deem more promising than flat-out quick runs on the circuit. That being said, during this particular pre-season test run, Ferrari finished fourth, behind Renault, Red Bull and of course, Mercedes. According to Ferrari’s team spokesperson, they were not ready for the challenge in Melbourne and actually felt that Racing Point had a much better and fairer advantage. Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be wavering in terms of their standing on the roster, mainly due to mishaps here and there and performance that seems wanting at times. For instance, Red Bull had too many slip-and-slides during its test runs, not for any reason except maybe weather, but they don’t seem to be giving their competition much to worry about. Incidentally, some of the crew at Mercedes tend to believe that Ferrari is downplaying its pace, setting itself up for maximum propulsion during D-day. This could be true as others seek to maximize their engines’ performances, it could very well be that Ferrari has not exhausted their engine capacities, rather, they are waiting to engage optimal performance when it counts, once they are back on the circuit.
This team is gaining a lot of ground in terms of its prowess and competitiveness. As plans to head to Melbourne were under way earlier this year, they were placed ahead of Ferrari as most likely to give McLaren and Mercedes a run for their money. Though McLaren’s boss wasn’t too worried about Racing Point’s progress, many pundits seem to believe that Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll have a lot to look forward to when Formula 1 returns this season. For those who may not know much about Racing Point, they do in fact borrow quite a lot from Mercedes in terms of gear boxes and the like. This may be the reason McLaren’s boss loosely coined them the copy points. Well, that’s neither here nor there as the boys from all the different clubs wait to showcase all they have in Austria this July.
So, as far as cars for the season, there seem to be a lot of improvements in the different teams with underdogs like the Pink crew surprising all and presenting a challenge to the Silver Arrows and the rest