Ferrari Tops Day 2 – F1 Testing **Updated**


The second day of running in Spain has come to a close with the Ferrari of Charles LeClerc on top. The Monegasque flashed a 1’19.689 in the last hour of testing today, three tenths slower than the lap time of Lando Norris in Day 1, making him the second driver of the test to lap below the 1’20 threshold.

Compared to 2020 when F1 last tested in Barcelona, the new 2022 cars are significantly slower, averaging 2.5-3.0 seconds off the pace of there predecessors. More importantly, it’s showing a drastic power shift in the midfield teams as McLaren, AlphaTauri, and Ferrari are all sharing the top of the timesheets.

Day 2 was not without its surprises as red flags were brought out by Sergio Perez’s Red Bull, stopping on-track for a gearbox issue during the late morning, as well as the HAAS of Nikita Mazepin for a damaged fuel pump in the afternoon session. Both drivers were able to return to their respective sessions and would go on to set the seventh and eighth fastest laps of the day.

Pierre Gasly surprised many when he took his AlphaTauri into the top three, becoming the third member of the 1’19 club with a blistering 1’19.918 all while topping the lap chart at 147 laps completed during the day.

Daniel Ricciardo in his first outing in the MCL36 was turd on the charts, with a 1’20.288 and 126 laps running while the Mercedes of George Russell was 4th. Russell’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton anchored the timesheet at the last-fastest running with a 1’22.562 – leading many to believe that the true pace of the Mercedes remains to be seen.

Alfa Romeo’s struggles continued into the second day as Valtteri Bottas managed to do only 21 laps in what would be the 2nd slowest fast-lap of the day, while rookie teammate Guanya Zhou set the 10th fastest time with 71 laps running. Reliability of the Alfa Romeo seems to be questionable as the Finn struggles to come to grips with his new team.

One day remains in the Barcelona test before teams depart for the second official pre-season test in Bahrain.

2022 pre-season testing day two times:

PositionDriverTeamBest timeGapLaps
1Charles LeclercFerrari1’19.68979
2Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1’19.9180.229147
3Daniel RicciardoMcLaren1’20.2880.599126
4George RussellMercedes1’20.5370.84866
5Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’20.5460.85771
6Sebastian VettelAston Martin1’20.7841.09574
7Sergio PerezRed Bull1’21.4301.74178
8Nikita MazepinHaas1’21.5121.82342
9Alexander AlbonWilliams1’21.5311.84247
10Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo1’21.8852.19671
11Nicholas LatifiWilliams1’21.8942.20561
12Lance StrollAston Martin1’21.9202.23155
13Mick SchumacherHaas1’21.9492.2666
14Esteban OconAlpine1’22.1642.475125
15Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo1’22.2882.59921
16Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’22.5622.87340

Formula 1’s ‘porpoising’ problem

Among the conversations of the day perhaps the most interesting was the discussion of the new ground-effect era cars developing ‘porpoising’ issues.

Last seen in the early eighties, when ground-effect aero was last permitted by the FIA in F1, the issue arises when the downforce generated by the underside of the car can increase to the point of stalling – effectively causing the airflow to stop and the cars quickly lose downforce and subsequently grip. This causes major concerns as the driver enters a corner and the car loses it’s aero grip, leading to a bumpy ride and possible loss of control.

Ferrari’s team principal Mattia Binotto had this to say about the issue:

‘I think most of us at least underestimated the problem on track…we are bouncing more than expected. We knew certainly that the ground (effect) floor situation is different…it’s a learning process’

Continuing, Binotto believes that while teams will continue to encounter these issues, the ones that solve the equation and fix the solution will have an advantage rather quickly over the others. The question would be, how long will that take to solve?

Related Link: Formula 1 Rulebook Changes over the Years
Related Link: Charles LeClerc showing the F1-75 ‘Porpoising’

Vettel takes a stance

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel sent a challenge to Formula 1 this morning upon news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stating that he will not be taking part in September’s race in Sochi should Formula 1 race there.

Vettel is firm in his stance that the race should not go ahead, making the following statements in this mornings driver press conference:

 ‘…in my personal opinion, obviously I woke up to this morning’s news shocked. I don’t know, I think it’s horrible to see what is happening. Obviously if you look at the calendar, we have a race scheduled in Russia. For myself, my own opinion is I should not go, I will not go. I think it’s wrong to race in that country. I’m sorry for the innocent people that are losing their lives, getting killed for stupid reasons. A very, very strange and mad leadership’

Offering additional insight, Max Verstappen also indicated that he doesn’t believe the race should go ahead, stating “I think when a country is at war it’s not correct to race there, that’s for sure”. He went on to say that “the whole paddock is going to decide what to do next”.

It remains to be seen how Formula 1 and the FIA will react to this change in world events, one can hope they choose a moral path and steer clear of any more controversy.

**Update, HAAS drops Urakali colors,name**

It was announced this afternoon that the HAAS F1 Team will drop the Urakali colors and branding, running a white car on the final day of testing. The team confirmed this change:

‘Haas F1 Team will present its VF-22 in a plain white livery, minus Uralkali branding, for the third and final day of track running at Circuit de Barcelona–Catalunya on Friday 25th February. Nikita Mazepin will drive as planned in the morning session with Mick Schumacher taking over in the afternoon. No further comment will be made at this time regarding team partner agreements’

Additionally, HAAS pulled team principal Gunther Steiner and Mazepin from post-session media engagements today; teams are expected to meet with Formula 1 CEO Stephano Domenicali this evening to discuss the effects of Russia’s invasion.

Related Link: HAAS Drops Urakali