Date:Monday March 5 2012
The second test in Barcelona ended over the weekend and with it the final true days of testing for the teams.
The likes of Marussia have done some testing today (Monday) at Silverstone, while who knows what HRT have planned, but the chequered flag has waved on the official winter testing programmes.
So what have we learned? Well pretty much nothing, other than what the cars actually look like.
If the time sheets are to be believed Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus will be going head-to-head with Sergio Perez and Sauber for the 2012 Formula One World Championship as they were the two drivers to head the combined times after four days of testing.
Without Marussia and HRT in Barcelona, who would be the slowest over the four days? Oh that will be defending double F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull, completing 108 laps or 310 miles around the Catalunya circuit.
He was a full 1.331 seconds slower than Raikkonen's Lotus, but its likely that Vettel was completing long heavy fuel load stints, while Raikkonen may well have been doing testing to set up qualifying settings.
Overall it was a pretty mixed bag, Jenson Button's McLaren was third quickest, while Fernando Alonso's Ferrari was fifth, with Mark Webber in the quickest Red Bull in fourteenth and the Mercedes' of Rosberg and Schumacher sixteenth and seventeenth.
So what if anything have we learned?
Despite what the time sheets say, Ferrari were pretty pessimistic about their performance, highlighting just how worthless the time sheets actually are!
They have already stated that they are unlikely to be competitive enough to challenge for the podium in Australia and will be testing new parts, during the opening race of the F1 season.
'I am disappointed by our performance level at the moment, I think we've got a lot of work to do.' Ferrari technical chief Pat Fry told Autosport Magazine.
'The change we made last week to the exhaust position has put us a little bit on the back foot and we're trying to optimise to that. We've obviously still got a lot of work going on at the factory and we'll have new bits to test in Melbourne.'
There have been mixed messages coming out of Red Bull Racing. Obviously billed as the team to beat, Vettel has been quoted as not being completely happy with how things have gone for the team.
They've already ran an updated package, which was introduced over this final test, but reliability issues with the gear box, prevented them from completing the amount of runs that their rivals could achieve.
But that doesn't appear to be much of concern for Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner: 'I think it has been constructive. Looking back to 12 months ago when we were faced with a lot of KERS issues and so on, I think it has been a positive winter testing period.
'I don't think there is anything too different from the last couple of years. Certainly last year was tougher because KERS was a bigger issue and we ended up not running at the first race, but 12 months on KERS has hardly been mentioned this year.'
Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn was another happy team principal after testing, believing that the latest Mercedes was indeed an improvement on its predecessor: Some of the fundamentals are good, the cooling is good, the systems are working well and it means that all of our engineers can focus on finding performance from the very beginning.
'Whereas last year there was a lot of resource soaked up fixing problems with the car, so we have certainly moved a long way in 12 months.
But perhaps it was McLaren who left Barcelona the happiest? Their car has ran well throughout testing and over the final few days, like Red Bull, they introduced a new upgrade package in the form of aerodynamic upgrades.
But just like Red Bull, McLaren were not immune to technical issues and a hydraulic problem prevented Jenson Button from completing his full running programme.
'Immediately when we put the upgrades on it felt much better. There were some areas where we were lacking in the car, but we knew it would become better when we put the updates on.' Button said at the end of his testing stint on Saturday, 'It's great the upgrade we got today, but we weren't able to progress with it and get a perfect set-up. Hopefully tomorrow Lewis can have a nice, clean day and we can progress with it because there's still more to come. The feeling is positive though.'
Hamilton went on to complete 115 laps on Sunday and while he may have only sat sixth on the time sheets, he was completing race simulations and some analysts like Jamie O'Leary of Autosport Magazine, believes that Hamilton's laps were looking very strong overall.
So while others may have stolen the headlines, it looks like McLaren could be looking good heading into the final couple of weeks of the winter before the lights go out in Australia.
Date:Monday March 5 2012
Horner Honoured (Sunday June 16 2013)
First Ferrari Winner Passes Away (Sunday June 16 2013)
Button Smashes His Personal Best (Sunday June 16 2013)
Just Say No (Friday June 14 2013)
No Tyre Change (Friday June 14 2013)
In Hamilton We Trust (Friday June 14 2013)
World Champion Signs Contract Extension (Wednesday June 12 2013)
VF1blog: Dominant Victory For Vettel (Tuesday June 11 2013)
VF1blog: Vettel finally scores victory in Canada (Monday June 10 2013)
2013 Can GP - Race - Result (Sunday June 9 2013)
VF1blog: Vettel returns to pole in Canada (Sunday June 9 2013)
2013 Can GP - Qualifying - Result (Saturday June 8 2013)
VF1blog: Canadian track preview (Saturday June 8 2013)
2013 Can GP - Free Practice 3 - Result (Saturday June 8 2013)
Poll Result - Who will win in Canada (Saturday June 8 2013)
2013 Can GP - Free Practice 2 - Result (Friday June 7 2013)
2013 Can GP - Free Practice 1 - Result (Friday June 7 2013)
Mercedes And Pirelli To Face FIA Tribunal (Thursday June 6 2013)
Perez Fully Backed (Thursday June 6 2013)
Bottas And Maldonado “More Or Less” Matched (Thursday June 6 2013)
Small Steps In The Right Direction For McLaren (Thursday June 6 2013)
Force India Target Podium Finish For 100th Race (Wednesday June 5 2013)
Brand New Ferrari Chassis (Wednesday June 5 2013)
Nothing Lasts Forever (Tuesday June 4 2013)
Working Back Up The Order (Tuesday June 4 2013)
F1 Prediction Comp - Round 7 (Monday June 3 2013)
FIA Investigate Ferrari (Sunday June 2 2013)
Who will win in Canada? (Sunday June 2 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Weekend recap - Rosberg (Saturday June 1 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Weekend recap - Vettel (Friday May 31 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Weekend recap - Webber (Thursday May 30 2013)
F1 Prediction Comp - Round 6 Result (Wednesday May 29 2013)
Mercedes under fire following tyre test (Tuesday May 28 2013)
VF1blog: Mayhem in Monte Carlo (Tuesday May 28 2013)
Rosberg Romps To A Dominant Monaco Victory (Monday May 27 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Race - Result (Sunday May 26 2013)
Nico Rosberg Shines In Damp Conditions At Monaco (Saturday May 25 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Qualifying - Result (Saturday May 25 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Free Practice 3 - Result (Saturday May 25 2013)
Can Mercedes win in Monaco? (Friday May 24 2013)
Button happy with Monaco form (Friday May 24 2013)
F1 Prediction Competition - Monaco (Friday May 24 2013)
Poll Result - Who will win in Monaco? (Friday May 24 2013)
Pirelli could quit Formula One (Friday May 24 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Free Practice 2 - Result (Thursday May 23 2013)
2013 Mon GP - Free Practice 1 - Result (Thursday May 23 2013)
Lotus hope to keep Raikkonen (Wednesday May 22 2013)
BMW deny F1 return (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Paddy Lowe to begin work at Mercedes (Tuesday May 21 2013)
FIA reject tyre change plan (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Pirelli will change the tyres (Monday May 20 2013)
Who will in the Monaco Grand Prix? (Monday May 20 2013)
F1 Prediction Competition - Round 6 (Monday May 20 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Weekend recap - Alonso (Friday May 17 2013)
VF1blog: Pirelli changes a stab in the dark? (Friday May 17 2013)
McLaren switch to Honda power in 2015 (Friday May 17 2013)
VF1blog: Remembering Elio de Angelis (Thursday May 16 2013)
VF1blog: Honda to announce F1 comeback (Thursday May 16 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Weekend recap - Raikkonen (Thursday May 16 2013)
F1 Prediction Competition - Rd 5 Result (Wednesday May 15 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Weekend recap - Massa (Wednesday May 15 2013)
VF1blog: Tyres dominate post-race discussion (Tuesday May 14 2013)
VF1blog: Alonso Triumphs On Home Soil (Tuesday May 14 2013)
VF1blog: Alonso's Home Run (Monday May 13 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Race - Result (Sunday May 12 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Qualifying - Result (Sunday May 12 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Free Practice 3- Result (Saturday May 11 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Free Practice 2- Result (Friday May 10 2013)
2013 Spa GP - Free Practice 1 - Result (Friday May 10 2013)
Poll: Who will in the Spanish Grand Prix? (Friday May 10 2013)
Lotus rocked by Allison departure (Friday May 10 2013)
Lotus seek improvements (Thursday May 9 2013)
I'm happier away from McLaren says Hamilton (Wednesday May 8 2013)
F1 could introduce a penalty points system (Wednesday May 8 2013)
Button lowers expectations on McLaren upgrades (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Pirelli provide extra tyres for Friday sessions (Monday May 6 2013)
Who will win the Spanish Grand Prix? (Sunday May 5 2013)
Vital F1 Prediction Competition - Round 5 (Saturday May 4 2013)
Would you like to write for Vital F1? (Friday May 3 2013)
Lessons learned for Silverstone (Thursday May 2 2013)
McLaren will move on from team-mate scrap (Wednesday May 1 2013)
Thailand Grand Prix moves a step closer (Wednesday May 1 2013)
Remembering Ayrton (Wednesday May 1 2013)
Kubica confirms Mercedes's Formula 1 simulator run (Tuesday April 30 2013)
The battle for survival (Monday April 29 2013)
Pirelli to introduce new hard tyre (Friday April 26 2013)
Hamilton enjoying new challenge (Thursday April 25 2013)
2013 Bah GP - Weekend recap - Vettel (Wednesday April 24 2013)
2013 Bah GP - Weekend recap - Raikkonen (Wednesday April 24 2013)
2013 Bah GP - Weekend recap - Grosjean (Wednesday April 24 2013)
VF1blog: Boring Bahrain? Far from it! (Tuesday April 23 2013)
Vital F1 Prediction Comp - Round 4 results (Tuesday April 23 2013)
Poll Result: Bahrain (Tuesday April 23 2013)
VF1blog:Vettel wins a race of one (Monday April 22 2013)
VF1blog: Deja Vu In The Desert (Monday April 22 2013)
2013 Bah GP - Race - Result (Sunday April 21 2013)
VF1blog: Rosberg Storms To Shock Pole At Bahrain (Sunday April 21 2013)
2013 Bah GP - Qualifying - Result (Sunday April 21 2013)
2013 Bah GP - Free Practice 3 - Result (Sunday April 21 2013)
2013 Bah GP - Free Practice 2 - Result (Friday April 19 2013)
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