F1 2019 Pre-Season Testing – Week 2 Recap
The second and final week of pre-season testing for the 2019 Formula One World Championship is over, which means we now have just speculation, rumors, and driver quotes to fuel our two-week wait for the season to start officially in Melbourne, Australia.
Lewis Hamilton ended the second week having completed more laps than anyone else and having set a time just 0.003 seconds off of Sebastian Vettel’s timesheet-topping 1:16.221. This was somewhat unusual as Hamilton has in the past been vocal about his dislike of testing, and Vettel tends to be the opposite — last year he had completed a whopping 188 laps (about 544 miles) in a single day.
However, Ferrari encountered some issues in the second week. On Wednesday, a wheel rim issue, supposedly caused by “an impact with a foreign object,” caused Vettel’s car to crash violently into the barriers, putting an abrupt and early end to their day. This was just the first of several other technical gremlins for the Scuderia. Cooling system concerns, exhaust issues, and finally an electrical problem all put a hamper on their testing in the second week. Ultimately, they were able to complete only 399 laps compared to 598 in the first week.
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Nonetheless, the Ferrari engine finished testing with the most mileage under its belt, and race simulation projections estimate the team has a slight pace advantage over Mercedes and the rest of the grid. Red Bull Racing, which had lowered its expectations after switching to Honda, actually looked strong as well and is believed to be only marginally behind its two usual rivals.
Williams also made good use of its second week of testing after a terrible first week, putting in the fourth-most amount of laps and almost catching up to Racing Point in the process. Racing Point didn’t seem to be suffering from reliability issues, but with its limited budget it would have needed to be careful not to over-exert or damage its car. Not every team can afford to crash in testing like Ferrari.
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