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F1 Testing: Big Week Ahead For McLaren As Ferrari And Red Bull Chase Mercedes In Test Two





F1 Testing: Big Week Ahead For McLaren As Ferrari And Red Bull Chase Mercedes In Test Two F1 Testing

Follow all four days of Test Two with Sky Sports F1; Second and final four-day Test at Barcelona starts on Tuesday.

After an intriguing first week in Barcelona, teams now just have four days left of testing before the 2017 championship officially begins. And it's fair to say some have more to work on than others.

World champions Mercedes seem to have once again embraced the technical changes, taking to Formula 1's 'rules refresh' seamlessly as they finished Test One with the fastest time and the most laps.

Still, perhaps Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas' lack of running on Day Four thanks to an electrical issue, along with the possible engine concerns back at base, will give challengers such as Ferrari some hope for Test Two and beyond.

If the Scuderia weren't the most impressive team last week they were certainly a close second. Indeed, the often hard to please Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both gave their SF70-H a cautious thumbs up. But Ferrari have often impressed in the winter before flattering to deceive once the season begins, and the upcoming four days could be a good indicator of how just good their work in Fiorano has been, with their rivals set to unleash their full potential.

Red Bull certainly fall under that bracket, having struggled for reliability and outright pace so far. The expectation is that Adrian Newey's RB13 will begin to look a lot different as Test Two develops. Drivers and management have conceded, however, that they may not be able to cut the power deficit to Mercedes until mid-season.

The same can be said about junior team and fellow Renault-powered outfit Toro Rosso, whose no-show on the timesheets on Day Four leaves them relying on a strong second week. They're currently bottom of the distance-covered leaderboard, just behind McLaren.

While talk of a divorce from engine-suppliers Honda has been laughed off by team boss Eric Boullier, the Woking team need a dramatic improvement from their new-for-Test Two power unit. The infrastructure, heritage and deep pockets of McLaren certainly point at success in 2017, but having also finished second-bottom in the timesheets for fastest laps, the team simply have to bounce back - not least to keep Fernando Alonso happy.

Fastest lap per team in Test One

Team Driver Date Tyre Time
Mercedes Valtteri Bottas Day Three Ultrasofts 1:19.705
Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Day Three Softs 1:19.952
Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo Day Three Softs 1:21.153
Renault Jolyon Palmer Day Three Softs 1:21.396
Sauber Marcus Ericsson Day Three Supersofts 1:21.824
Williams Felipe Massa Day One Softs 1:22.076
Haas Romain Grosjean Day Three Supersofts 1:22.118
Force India Esteban Ocon Day Two Supersofts 1:22.509
McLaren Stoffel Vandoorne Day Four Ultrasofts 1:22.576
Toro Rosso Daniil Kvyat Day Two Softs 1:22.956

While not facing a pre-season crisis, Mercedes-powered challengers Force India and Williams may also feel they underachieved last week.

The latter, in particular, needs more running after Lance Stroll's two crashes. Felipe Massa opens the test for Williams, with Stroll back in the FW40 on Wednesday afternoon.

Renault, Sauber and Haas, meanwhile, will hope for more of the same. All three believe their new cars are giant steps forward, and perhaps rightly so with the Test One final standings placing them fourth, fifth and seventh respectively in the fastest laps from a team perspective.

It's all set up for another fascinating four days.

DRIVER LINE-UPS

Tuesday 7th March

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (AM) and Valtteri Bottas (PM)

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel

Force India: Esteban Ocon

Williams: Felipe Massa

McLaren: Stoffel Vandoorne

Toro Rosso: Carlos Sainz

Haas: Kevin Magnussen

Renault: Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg

Sauber: Pascal Wehrlein

Wednesday 8th March

Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas (AM) and Lewis Hamilton (PM)

Red Bull: Max Verstappen

Ferrari: Kimi Raikkonen

Force India: Sergio Perez

Williams: Felipe Massa (AM) and Lance Stroll (PM)

McLaren: Fernando Alonso

Toro Rosso: Daniil Kvyat

Haas: Romain Grosjean

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer

Thursday 8th March

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton (AM) and Valtteri Bottas (PM)

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel

Force India: Esteban Ocon

Williams: Lance Stroll (AM) and Felipe Massa (PM)

Toro Rosso: Carlos Sainz

McLaren: Stoffel Vandoorne

Haas: Kevin Magnussen

Renault: Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hulkenberg

Friday 9th March

Mercedes: Valtteri Bottas (AM) and Lewis Hamilton (PM)

Red Bull: Max Verstappen

Ferrari: Kimi Raikkonen

Force India: Sergio Perez

Williams: Lance Stroll

Toro Rosso: Daniil Kvyat

McLaren: Fernando Alonso

Haas: Romain Grosjean

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer


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F1 Testing: Big Week Ahead For McLaren As Ferrari And Red Bull Chase Mercedes In Test Two
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