Living La Vida Loca
I was struggling for something to talk about today. I want to talk about the dominance of Ferrari, but I feel we need to see what Red Bull do when they turn up. I want to talk about some of the teams, but again, I feel I might shoot myself in the foot once again (Toro Rosso ended up fourth today).
So, you can’t beat a good post about why Spain appears to be the nation of F1 testing.
Valenica, Jerez and Barcelona. All rather big locations in Spain. All of them are also hosting at least one F1 test this winter. Just Spain. Nowhere in Britain or France or anywhere that testing could take place.
And I don’t like it. Fair enough it is in one country, there is not a lot of effort or money required to transport from one venue to another. But why should Spain get the F1 testing exclusively? It isn’t fair on the Brits or the French.
Before you say it as well, don’t go ‘It is because it is nice and sunny’. It isn’t, tomorrow is set to feature quite a bit of rain. The temperature has been cool all week.
I want to see more venues taking place, I am aware of the cost cutting taken place by the FIA, less test sessions are used. But do tests really need to be of a high cost?
For some examples, I’ll take two quite different teams, Ferrari and Virgin Racing. Ferrari being the team that can spend anything they feel like, Virgin pretty much the polar opposite.
Ferrari will be able to go to anywhere in the world at anytime they want. Money is no obstacle for them. Lets say they are limited to just 15 days of testing, split into four weeks. In week 1 they could be in Bahrain (a decent test venue when it isn’t covered in sand), week 2 at Jerez, week 3 at Paul Ricard and week 4 at the home venue of Maranello.
Virgin on the other hand can’t afford to go to all those venues. They need to be more local to help with the money. Week 1 and 2 can be at Silverstone, before spending weeks 3 and 4 at Valencia. They can half the amount of money spent on transport and will inevitably help with cost cutting.
The FIA could do more to help. Help pay the teams towards testing, to encourage them to test and entertain the fans that attend (which must be said for the impressive attendance at Valencia). But certainly at least add more variety to help more fans get into F1.
Paul Ricard is the ultimate test venue, I would love to know why F1 isn’t going there for testing. So many different configurations means a team can test so many different set ups for the upcoming season. You probably don’t even need to move venues with Paul Ricard being so versatile.
Then there is also tracks such as Portimao in Portugal, or several tracks in Germany also up to standard for F1 testing.
I like Spain, really do. Lovely country (admittedly, I’ve only been once). But there needs to be much more variation in the F1 testing calendar. Spain is hogging the headlines and no fans in Britain or France or Italy are getting any sort of cheap fix to see F1 cars. (Yes, I know you can get to Barcelona using just £30 with Easyjet.) But there is no option to keep the passport in the pocket and pop on down to the local circuit.
And in relevant testing news, I think Red Bull are going to be stronger than expected this year.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Alonso Ferrari (B) 1:11.470 127 2. de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari (B) 1:12.094 80 3. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:12.438 82 4. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:12.576 97 5. Button McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:12.951 82 6. Petrov Renault (B) 1:13.097 75 7. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:13.669 126