ATnd welcome to our liveblog for the final day of the first pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain. The first couple of days have been characterized by fairly strong reliability for most teams, with the teams who had limited running on day one making a good fist of it on the second day.
Who has been the most impressive under the new regulations so far? Of course it’s impossible to tell anything much beyond first impressions, but Ferrari have had a solid test, with a good amount of running and generally near the top of the time sheets, too.
Another big question that is again difficult to answer at this stage is whether F1’s new regulations will help better racing? Some of the drivers are optimistic that things will be improved.
“I have been following a few cars, it seems a little bit easier to stay behind,” defending world champion Max Verstappen said. “At least you don’t have these weird corners where you suddenly have understeer or a mass of oversteer. I don’t expect it to be fully gone where you can follow [right behind] the rear diffuser – at least not at the speeds we are still doing in F1 – but it all seems a bit more under control.”
A few of the drivers have tried to test the new cars and the different aerodynamic set-up in against other cars by following them closely.
“We did that on purpose, obviously,” said Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz. “I can tell you I already felt some differences. It’s pretty obvious already, and I’m relatively positive about it. I’m optimistic that it’s going in the right direction.”
Some have also noticed how stiff the cars are at high speed on the straights.
“They bounce around a bit, and they are a little bit stiff, so it is a bit more vicious inside of it,” Williams driver Alex Albon said. “You are moving around, you are feeling everything. But at the end of the day, they’re quick and everyone’s done a great job.”
The morning session gets under way at 8am GMT and I’ll be here for most of that, also going track side to see what the cars look in real life. The afternoon session will be a simulated wet one so the drivers can try out the new wet tires. As I head off, Uche Amako will be taking you through the final couple of hours.