Day One of testing is well underway and the early leader in the morning session is Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes. He leads Vettel by two-tenths, the rest of the field are a long way back but running different aero programmes.
Here are some images of the action in Barcelona:
Toro Rosso have become unlikely candidates for doing very well this season, it isn’t just the livery of the STR12 that is stunning. The car itself has already been compared to the title-defending Mercedes W08, with only the Champions and the Faenza-based squad coming up with a raised front-suspension where the upper wishbone is linked to the front uprights.
Technical Director for Toro Rosso James Key said,
“All just coincidence, We did not get any new people from Mercedes or vice versa. When I saw the pictures of the Mercedes last Thursday, I was a bit annoyed at first. But then it pleased me — if Mercedes has the same ideas as us, we can’t be far wrong. Now I hope that our Renault engine is as good as the Mercedes.
To be honest, I’m surprised that only Mercedes and us have gone in this direction.
The Ferrari looks interesting in the area of the sidepods. This is a completely new approach that we need to look at more closely. There are also some interesting aspects on the McLaren and the Haas.”
– James Key
Last season, Toro Rosso had a great chassis but were held back by an outdated power-unit. This season, they race with brand new Renault power and the earliest signs are that the team have a car that can at least be at the sharp end of the midfield.