The differences estimated between the 2019 Formula 1 pre-season Pirelli tyres suggests that Ferrari may have finished the first week of testing at Barcelona with a half a second advantage.
The top three teams at the end of the first week were Renault, Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo, with Mercedes finishing fourth as a representative of the top teams old guard.
In the time-sheets Ferrari only managed fifth, 0.7s slower than leader Nico Hulkenberg, however, Leclerc’s best lap time was recorded on the intermediary C3 tyres out of the range of five options Pirelli offered. (C1-C5)
The top 6 drivers, including Valtteri Bottas, used the softest compound available, the C5, which Pirelli estimate to be 1.2s per lap faster than the intermediary C3 compound used by Ferrari for their fastest times.
If we use the estimated time differential offered by Pirelli between the compounds, the top 10 leaderboard changes considerably.
Leclerc and Vettel take up the first two spots as the only drivers to record times under 1m17s. Hulkenberg is demoted all the way down to sixth, behind Antonio Giovinazzi, Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean.
Obviously there are other factors other than tyres that can influence a lap time, among which the engine mode and the fuel load.
Fuel load especially is very hard to pin down, although it is tempting to say stuff like, for example, that Kvyat’s time of 1m17.704 when he only came out on the track for a single flying lap, was done with a low fuel load compared to the almost identical time recorded by Kimi Raikkonen during a longer, albeit not by much, 5 lap stint.
Foto-credit: Scuderia Ferrari F1
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