Pre-Season 2013 F1 Winter Testing: 2 - Circuit de Catalunya, 19-22 February


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And so we move on to the second test

First Test
5 Feb Circuito de Jerez
6 Feb Circuito de Jerez
7 Feb Circuito de Jerez
8 Feb Circuito de Jerez

Second Test
19 Feb Circuit de Catalunya
20 Feb Circuit de Catalunya
21 Feb Circuit de Catalunya
22 Feb Circuit de Catalunya

Third Test
28 Feb Circuit de Catalunya
1 Mar Circuit de Catalunya
2 Mar Circuit de Catalunya
3 Mar Circuit de Catalunya

Did we learn much from the first test that we probably didn’t already know? Not really.

McLaren were the fastest car at the end of the 2012 season, which was a mere 10 weeks ago, and still look fast now, possibly fastest. Red Bull are right up there too, as are Ferrari.
The usual mid-field teams are still scrapping it out in the mid-field, and as usual, Caterham and Marussia are pottering around at the back.

In addition to the usual teething problems and mechanical breakdowns, the surface of the circuit is now apparently unlike anything on the current calendar as it is far too abrasive and desperately needs resurfacing.
Pirelli were less than impressed and didn't get any useful data on the softest two tyre compounds, which have of course all been revised for this season, along with the construction and shape of the tyre.

There’s a useful roundup here from Sky:

It’s at this second test and more importantly, the final one, where we’ll start to see what the pecking order will be, at least for the first few races.
My bet is it won't be that much different from the last few races of 2012. If at all.
As I mentioned on another, thread we cannot learn much from a single lap time all we can hope to do is to try and decipher a trend withing each team, you don't have to be very clever to do this as it becomes obvious as time goes by...

A far better measure is consistency of pace is over long runs and not a single lap, which is why I question the validity of sandbagging ...

In fact the only teams who can sandbag are the teams that know it has a quick car straight out of the box, everyone was convinced that the Brawn team was running low fuel in preseason testing in 09 and that they were being flattered by that and yet as it turned out everyone was wrong...
I'll be interested to see how Williams get on, assuming that they bring their 2013 car. I wonder what effect (if any) Toto Wolff's sudden departure and the Paddy Lowe shenanigans will have on the team?
Red Bull
Force India
Toro Rosso

That's the order going to Catalunya. I've based this on precisely nothing. Which is what everybody knows about everybody else at the current moment. I'm looking forward to the televised test at the end of the month.
With little to no changes to regulations, I would expect a repetition of what we've seen in 2012, with Red Bull and McLaren the fastest and the rest catching up to them.
Gary Anderson's take on the first test:

He believes that sand-bagging is alive and well in F1.

But this still is not the definitive list, because some of the teams try to disguise their true form in testing.

So they will do a 'low-fuel' run - the one that sets their fastest overall time - with more fuel on board than they needed to make the car look slower than it is, for example.

The ones that do it most tend to be the biggest teams. The smaller teams tend not to mess about. They want to know where they are. The big teams pretty much know they will be at the front, but they do not want their rivals to know exactly how quick they are.
Bianchi and Sutil are been given a chance in the car this week I believe. Reckon Sutil may get the nod, Force India need experience to try and gather points. I think Bianchi could do with a season in GP2 before the step up but that's just my opinion :ok:.
Yeah meant another season.

But he didn't race in 2012 so I fear he'll be rusty. Think another year of racing in a junior caterogy would do the lad the world of good. I know Sutil didn't race last year however, he's got the experience to handle it been back in an F1 car.
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