Just two days after the Spanish Grand Prix, the Formula One cars are back on the Catalunya circuit for two days of testing. Each team is limited to one machine and 8 hours of testing per day. The current rules oblige the teams to use lower series pilots during the season tests and so the list of pilots present on Tuesday and Wednesday has some new names:
- Mercedes: Nikita Mazepin, Valtteri Bottas
- Ferrari: Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco
- Red Bull: Pierre Gasly, Dan Ticktum
- Renault: Nico Hulkenberg, Jack Aitken
- Haas: Pietro Fittipaldi, Kevin Magnussen
- McLaren: Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Sergio Sette Camara, Oliver Turvey
- Racing Point: Nick Yelloly
- Alfa Romeo: Callum Ilott, Kimi Raikkonen
- Toro Rosso: Daniil Kvyat, Alex Albon
- Williams: Nicholas Latifi
Nikita Mazepin is a 20-year-old Russian driver who made his debut this year in Formula 2 where he struggled in the early stages of the year. Despite this, he is last year’s GP3 champion and already has gathered an impressive number of kilometres in a Formula One car. The Russian driver has been a Force India development driver for 3 years, and this year he signed a contract with Mercedes for 12 days of tests in the current car, but also in an older version (2017).
The teams will have a tight schedule, and will test even more of the new elements brought to Spain for the race, but also new concepts that have not yet reached the car. Although the number of test days is very limited, larger budget teams can take advantage of their financial position by the number of components made for these tests. For example, a team like Mercedes can come with 3-4 models of the front wing while Williams can only afford one.
Being a test session, the fastest times are not the top priority, and the ranking after these two days is not a complete picture of the “driver + car” package.
- Source: GP24 Author Radu Camarascu
- Photocredit: Red Bull Content Pool