With the first week of pre-season testing in Barcelona over and done with, here’s a look ahead to the first race of the season in Australia:
–Ferrari v Mercedes
The Prancing Ponies came out on top in Spain, recorded a convincing 598 laps showcasing the reliability of the SF90. They were quicker than Mercedes in the majority of the sessions.
If we go off that and the fast lap times they were setting, it’s looking like it could be the Italian sides year. However, they will have to eradicate silly mistakes that crept in throughout last season which effectively handed Mercedes the Constructors and Drivers Championship’s.
Mercedes may be slower, from what we’ve seen in pre-season testing, but they were still able to win last year with a slower car for the majority of 2019. It will be interesting to watch the battle between these two develop throughout the season.
–Vettel v Leclerc
During his four years with Ferrari, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen never really presented him with much of a challenge. This year things could be different with the arrival of Charles Leclerc to the side.
Having only made his F1 debut last season, the 21-year-old made a huge impact in the Sauber team finishing on several occasions in point scoring positions and a sixth-place finish at the Azerbaijan GP saw him become only the second Monegasque to score points in F1, after Louis Chiron.
Leclerc is on the charge and we’ll have to wait and see if he can play second best to the four-time World Champion.
–Bunched up pack
Toro Rosso, Alfa Romeo (Sauber) and Renault have all made strides throughout the winter and were hot on the heels of Ferrari, who set the benchmark during testing. All of this leads us to hope that Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull will be put under more pressure this season.
Not all the middle/lower teams have improved though. Williams were the biggest losers during testing and were unable to get their car out on track until the third day of testing.
We’ve been promised more wheel to wheel racing by the FIA and we hope to see it in Melbourne on March 17th.