Below are the fastest times produced by the teams and drivers at the final pre-season F1 test at Barcelona over the last 4 days. It provides a good insight into the relative performance of the different teams.
The top 13 drivers, represented by 7 different teams and 4 different engines, are separated by half a second. That means we are in for one hell of a competitive season with no team clearly ahead of the rest.
|Driver (Team)||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Diff.|
|2-Webber (Red Bull)||1m21.487||1m20.496||+0.024|
|4-Sutil (Force India)||1m22.606||1m20.611||+0.139|
|7-Vettel (Red Bull)||1m21.258||1m23.254||1m20.667||+0.195|
|12-De la Rosa (Sauber)||1m23.144||1m20.973||+0.501|
|13-Liuzzi (Force India)||1m24.064||1m21.056||+0.584|
|14-Buemi (Toro Rosso)||1m21.413||1m22.135||+0.941|
|16-Alguersuari (Toro Rosso)||1m24.869||1m21.571||+1.099|
|22-Di Grassi (Virgin)||1m27.057||1m26.160||+5.688|
Hamilton set his fastest time of 1m20.472secs on the final lap of a 4-lap run, which means the McLaren has a very good low-fuel speed.
Force India have done better than a lot people were expecting.
Comparisons of different drivers are less clear and one has to take into account what is happening in that team, developments and track conditions. For example, Button’s best time was nearly a second slower than Hamilton, but that was the first day McLaren were trying a significant new aero package and from his work, they were able to make set up improvements today.
However, the times produced by the drivers of Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, Mercedes, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Lotus and Virgin are all very similar to their teammates.
Lotus appears to be winning the battle of the new teams, but it seems to be quite close in times.