The second pre-season test begins on Wednesday in the heat of the Bahrain desert, after a torrid first test the teams using Renault engines will be hoping to make much more use of the four days than they did at Jerez where they managed 151 laps between them with the World Champions Red Bull only managing 21 laps amidst various reliability problems over the course of the four days, The problems of the Renault powered teams is emphasised by the fact that the teams using Mercedes engines were not only usually faster in a single lap but also between them managed to put in 851 laps.
Ferrari teams aren’t doing too bad either with 444 laps between the works team, Sauber and Marussia. If we are to judge it on this basis then Red Bull are in a lot of trouble, Although their woes may be eased if Adrian Newey finds an alternative to the tight packaging of the exhausts and don’t be surprised if they are back on the pace by the start of the season with the genius of Newey and the driving ability of their 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
In Jerez it was clear to see that Red Bull were in a bad situation but it was equally clear that McLaren have produced a more competitive car than they did last year, it isn’t just quick but also reliable with almost 250 laps between Button and Kevin Magnussen and on two of the four days they finished on top of the timesheets, however it must be stressed that it is so difficult to read into testing and it will be in Australia where we will first be able to have a better idea on who has got it right and who is in for a tough season.
We will also get to see the new Lotus on track for the first time and from the pictures released the nose will attract a lot of debate, It is likely that we will see far more action this week than we did in Spain with many of the teams wanting to solve any problems that they may have in time for the season opener next month.Testing Schedules (some still to be confirmed) Red Bull Vettel – Wednesday & Thursday Ricciardo – Friday & Saturday Mercedes Hamilton – Wednesday & Friday Rosberg – Thursday & Saturday Ferrari Alonso – Wednesday & Thursday Raikkonen – Friday & Saturday McLaren Magnussen – Wednesday & Thursday Button – Friday & Saturday Lotus Grosjean – Wednesday & Thursday Maldonado – Friday & Saturday Force India Hulkenberg – Wednesday & Thursday Perez – Friday & Saturday Sauber Sutil – Wednesday & Saturday Gutierrez – Thursday & Friday Toro Rosso Kvyat – Wednesday & Thursday Vergne – Friday & Saturday Caterham Frijns – Wednesday Kobayashi – Thursday & Saturday Ericsson – Friday Marussia Bianchi – Wednesday & Saturday Chilton – Thursday & Friday