Our resident nuclear scientist and F1 fundi, Nick van der Meulen has his say about F1 Testing 2019.

The F1 brigade has finally awakened from its slumber after a three months’ break from what can only be described as a hectic schedule. The teams have had their unveiling events and it’s all systems go – time to test the newly designed beasts prepared for 2019.

Last week

After four days of running, what does F1 testing 2019 at Barcelona tell us to date? What colours the cars are sporting, which teams’ cars are running reliably and which cars are less so. Interestingly, though, the cars/teammates seemed to congregate in pairs: Toro Rosso 2nd and 3rd; Mercedes 6th and 7th; Ferrari 8th and 9th; McLaren 10th and 12th, Haas 13th and 14th; Red Bull 15th and 16th; Racing Point (previously Force India) 17th and 18th and Williams at the tail of the field.

You can see official images of all the 2019 Formula One cars by clicking here.


A repeat of this result at the second Barcelona test will be an ominous sign for some of the teams. Stories bandied around the paddock include Ferrari being much faster than the rest of the field. The final times don’t substantiate the claim – although Toto Wolf is adamant.

Mercedes seems to have a handling problem so big that only a sizeable upgrade will sort it out; though Ferrari new boy Charles Leclerc believes the team is sandbagging. And there is a supposed mutiny occurring in the Williams garage, resulting in its late arrival and initial poor showing.

While testing is just that – testing the new car, new spares, tyres and the like – it is also a platform for psychological games and the showcasing of PR talent. Teams are spending much time evaluating their competition and comparing it with their own; others use it as a means to give their sponsors good exposure.  It has been proven many times in the past that the winner of the “winter world championship” does not necessarily feature in the real world championship, which is a far more grueling affair.

The BS stops when…

This second week of F1 testing 2019 may provide us with an indication of the pecking order, particularly later in the week. Until then, enjoy the testing, check the times, enjoy the new colour schemes. The real shots will be fired in qualifying at Melbourne…

You can follow all the test sessions and live timing on this site.