Testing gets underway tomorrow morning and I thought I would talk through some of the key things to look out for over the 8 days in Barcelona;
- How do the engines compare?
If Renault can close the gap to Mercedes and Ferrari then we are in for a very exciting season with possibly 4 teams battling it out for race wins.
I can’t see Honda getting close this year but if they can make some small gains and iron out the reliability issues then it will be a success. There will be a lot of nerves jangling and hearts pumping in the Toro Rosso garage tomorrow morning and listen out for a collective sigh of relief when the car makes it round the installation lap without having to be pushed back in.
- Just how good is McLaren’s car?
In spite of the obvious power shortage last year the McLaren still showed potential on some of the slower tracks. Running the same engine as Red Bull will give us a good indication of just how good the car is.
- How many complaints will we hear about the Halo?
There will be a lot of mentions of the halo’s negative effect on the aesthetics of the cars and I think this will continue until the first accident when it saves a life. They have been brought in for a good reason and we just need to get used to it. At least the shark fins and T wings are gone for now.
- Will Mercedes dominance continue?
I think it’s about time someone else won the championship. The hyrbid era has seen the silver arrows out on their own race after race. Last year saw the first challenge to their dominance only for it to unravel with break downs whether that be engine trouble or Vettel losing the plot. Can a more sustained challenge come this year? Hopefully Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren can all have their say.