First Taste of F1 Cars On Track Means Hope For 2022

Although Formula 1 boasts one of the shorter offseasons in sports, it has felt like forever since they were last on track. There has been no shortage of drama since Max Verstappen claimed the driver’s championship in a whirlwind of controversy that to this day has split the motorsport side into two radical sides, but finally, the topic can change from the past to the future.

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For the first time with the new regulations that are set to (hopefully) shake the very ground the F1 is built on, the cars are on track for an official session. Day one of the pre-season test has concluded from Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, and while it is just a very early test for these teams, fans can run wild with their crazy predictions for the season.

Related: Max Verstappen Deserving of F1 Driver’s Championship

There are many appetizing storylines that can be read into before the season and after testing. Will Ferrari be able to reclaim its position at the top of the motorsports world with the new regulations? How will Red Bull and Mercedes rebound after an intense title battle that saw work being done to their 2021 cars right up until the end of the season? Can McLaren continue their success despite most of their aerodynamic work on the previous car being useless to them now? How does “el plan” work out for Alpine? Can Haas get out of the garbage chute and into any form of competitive?

Mercedes F1 on track at pre-season testing in Spain

You can’t read too much into how the first day of testing shook out for the teams and their respective drivers, but there are certainly some interesting things to note. Mainly the pair of Ferrari drivers being in the top three, Lando Norris topping the tables, and perhaps on the more unnoticed side, Guanyu Zhou not running on the first day. Instead, Robert Kubica was in his place, an odd choice for both Valtteri Bottas and Kubica (both exceptionally experienced drivers) to be on track, but not their rookie who will be coming to terms with F1 machinery this season.

DriverTeamTimeCompoundLaps
Lando NorrisMcLaren1:19.568C4102
Charles LeclercFerrari1:20.165C380
Carlos SainzFerrari1:20.416C373
George RussellMercedes1:20.784C377
Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:20.929C350
Sebastian VettelAston Martin1:21.276C352
Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1:21.638C3120
Fernando AlonsoAlpine1:21.746C3146
Max VerstappenRed Bull1:22.246C2147
Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo1:22.572C323
Alex AlbonWilliams1:22.760C366
Mick SchumacherHaas1:22.962C323
Lance Stroll (C)Aston Martin1:23.327C367
Nicholas Latifi (C)Williams1:23.379C366
Nikita MazepinHaas1:24.505C220
Robert Kubica^Alfa Romeo1:25.909C39
(C) indicates a Canadian driver, ^ indicates reserve/test driver

One of the biggest takeaways from the day has nothing to do with the timing sheets or who was driving the cars, but the cars themselves. The new regulations left people unsure of what we were going to see from each team, and there were concerns that every car would be nearly identical to each other, but that is far from the case.

Whether you think of Haas’ sharkfin wing on the back of the car, Ferrari’s birdbath side pods as they have been called by fans, or Red Bull’s front win that is much closer to the front wheels compared to other teams, there are stark differences that could make or break every single car on the grid this season. While there will still be expectations that the big teams will remain at the top of the order, where exactly everyone will shakedown is up for debate and could be as such for quite some time into the season.

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It must also be said that the cars themselves are good-looking this season. When Formula 1 showed off the generic car at Silverstone during the 2021 season, people were skeptical about the next generation of Formula 1, but seeing each team’s interpretation on it on the track on Wednesday put to rest any doubts about them being ugly to look at.

They look fast and somewhat futuristic with their free-flowing design, particularly on the front and rear wings. Of course, the look of the car isn’t all that important, but these cars are supposed to improve the racing this season, and if they can do that while looking as cool as they do, this era could be one of the best in Formula 1’s history. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the sport.


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