By Daniel Wilson.
Mercedes finally established their position as favorites for the 2015 season as they topped the time sheets on two occasions at the final pre-season test in Barcelona.
The world champions ran a number of laps on the super-soft tyre for the first time this winter, and were quickest on days two and three.
The Williams also looked quick as Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas ended the first and last days quickest respectively, demonstrating their push for race victories this season.
However, despite McLaren-Honda finally completing a 100-lap day on Friday, the team still had restricted running throughout the final test including an oil leak that ended Kevin Magnussen’s temporary return to the car as he filled in for a recovering Fernando Alonso.
But it wasn’t just McLaren that had issues at the Circuit de Catalunya. Lewis Hamilton didn’t have the best of luck as he only managed 48 laps on day one after an issue with the hybrid system. However, his teammate had a trouble free final test as Nico Rosberg pumped in over 100 laps a day.
Red Bull also lost time after an ERS failure as the team continued their running under camouflage, leaving many asking what lies beneath? We’ll have to wait until Australia to answer that.
Force India finally made their arrival with this year’s car on Friday afternoon and wasted no time in making the most of the three days. Nico Hulkenburg and Sergio Perez seemed to get some good running on each of the days and the car seems to have had good reliability, but the team are under no illusion they remain on the back foot going into the season.
Ferrari, Sauber, Lotus and Toro Rosso all had fairly good running over the final four days, and all hope to carry big improvements into Australia in a fortnight.
So, with testing over, we can take some pointers from it but questions still remain over the general order of the field.
The Australian Grand Prix kicks off in Melbourne on 15th March and I for one, can’t wait.
Are McLaren heading for another poor season?
What can Force India achieve this year?
Predictions for Australia?
Leave your thoughts and comments below!