How all 10 teams fared after showing off their 2022 cars in Barcelona pre-season running
Three days of pre-season running have been and gone in Barcelona, giving the teams not just a chance to grab some valuable track time, but to also see just how good the opposition is looking. Seven red flags, one costly brush with the walls and a fair few wet laps added to the excitement, as the new 2022 cars took to the track in anger at last. But who managed the most laps, and who looked quick?
Total Laps – 392
Fastest Lap – 1m 19.138s (Hamilton)
All things considered, that was a very solid three days for the Silver Arrows. George Russell slotted into his new team seamlessly, managing a good haul of laps with no noticeable reliability issues. Although he tried to put the pressure back onto the likes of Ferrari and McLaren, implying they were ahead, the form of the Mercedes on the last day in both wet and dry conditions puts them firmly in the mix.
Add in Lewis Hamilton’s impressive 94 laps achieved on Friday afternoon alone, and it is clear to see the team are in a good place heading into the Bahrain test.
Total Laps – 358
Fastest Lap – 1m 19.556s (Perez)
Red Bull had a very good first and last day of pre-season running, but they did suffer a small hiccup on Day 2. That was when Sergio Perez was in the car, the Mexican forced to pull over with a gearbox issue. The fix was a while coming, and as such the Mexican lost plenty of running.
Fortunately, he was able to make up for lost time on Friday afternoon, albeit in wet conditions. As for Max Verstappen, no signs of rustiness were evident for the reigning world champion, who hammered out 147 laps on the first day and seemed relatively happy with his 2022 contender.
Total Laps – 365
Fastest Lap – 1m 19.568s (Norris)
Two of the most relaxed drivers on the grid were dressed in papaya this week. And why not – Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris completed a trouble-free set of programmes, with a huge number of laps and some of the most eye-catching times to boot.
Norris topped the first day, Ricciardo was on top at lunchtime on Day 2, and by and large they look to have a very decent package. They even experimented with following other cars at times, with both drivers noting an improvement which bodes well for close, exciting racing. Can they up their win tally of one from last season? It certainly looks promising on first glance.
Total Laps – 439
Fastest Lap – 1m 19.689s (Leclerc)
Managing the most laps of any team, with no reliability woes and looking quick to boot, Barcelona can rank as a very good outing for the Scuderia. The laps were split relatively evenly between the two drivers, who both looked comfortable from the off.
Is this set to be their year? The drivers were quick to downplay the notion, and certainly there was plenty of experimentation in terms of their floor design, so there is room for improvement. But it is so far, so good for the Prancing Horse.
Total Laps – 295
Fastest Lap – 1m 19.824s (Vettel)
It was going well for Aston Martin, with a decent amount of mileage across the first two days and no apparent issues, as they eased themselves in and starting to explore the possibilities that the AMR22 had to offer.
But Sebastian Vettel was forced to park trackside at the end of the morning session on Day 3, smoke pouring from the rear of his car. Once the car was recovered to the pits, a small oil leak was detected, but it couldn’t be fixed in time to get the car out on track, leaving Lance Stroll short of laps. The Canadian may want to jump into the simulator before Bahrain to see if he can play catch up.
Total Laps – 308
Fastest Lap – 1m 19.918s (Gasly)
Yuki Tsunoda was reasonably chatty after driving the car on Day 1 – to everyone except his team mate it seems, with the Japanese driver joking he wouldn’t tell Pierre Gasly anything about how the car was feeling. It didn’t seem to bother the Frenchman though, who had a very productive second day and seemed happy with the car he had been handed.
Unfortunately, Gasly did make a mistake on Friday morning, as he locked up and crunched into the wall down at Turn 5. The damage sustained couldn’t be fixed across the afternoon and that meant no second outing for Tsunoda. But with plenty of laps across the first two days, all is not lost for AlphaTauri, who have been tipped as dark horses ahead of this season.
Total Laps – 347
Fastest Lap – 1m 20.318s (Albon)
Plenty of ticks for Williams in Barcelona, notably on the reliability front. Their first two days went off without a hitch, Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon both getting in very decent mileage. Day 3 didn’t quite go to plan, with the team opting to split the day into quarters rather than halves, to ensure both drivers had dry and wet weather running.
As it was, Latifi got the short end of the stick and only managed 13 laps, but Albon was close to hitting a century and doesn’t seem to have wasted any time getting back up to speed on his return to F1.
Total Laps – 264
Fastest Lap – 1m 21.242s (Alonso)
Alpine spent their first two days testing aero parts, running rakes and flow-vis for a number of laps. They managed a fair whack of mileage, which was just as well, as their Friday running was not ideal. Fernando Alonso was in the car in the morning, but pulled up on track after going top, with smoke billowing from the rear of his car.
That related to a loss of pressure according to the team, and although they recovered the car quickly, they soon called time on their day, citing that the damage sustained was too lengthy to repair. That meant no more laps for Esteban Ocon on Friday, but fortunately he'd already managed to get 125 under his belt and so isn’t too far behind the curve.
Total Laps – 160
Fastest Lap – 1m 21.512s (Mazepin)
Pre-season running wasn’t kind to Haas, despite the team having turned their attention towards their 2022 car much earlier than the rest of the grid. A coolant issue derailed the start of the first day for the American outfit, before their afternoon was hampered by floor damage.
Roll on Day 2 and Nikita Mazepin brought out the red flags after a fuel pump issue was detected, but at least Mick Schumacher managed 66 laps in the afternoon sun. Reliability woes apparently solved, it was on to Day 3 – but disaster struck again, this time in the form of an oil leak that limited Mazepin to just the nine laps, and his team mate to none at all. They are most definitely playing catch-up – which is far from ideal with just three days more of testing to come.
Total Laps – 175
Fastest Lap – 1m 21.885s (Zhou)
Along with Haas, Alfa Romeo were the other team to struggle on the reliability front at pre-season running. Reserve driver Robert Kubica had the reins in the first session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but the Pole was limited to just nine laps. New boy Valtteri Bottas didn’t do much better in the afternoon either, nor the following morning – a broken part blamed for the disrupted running.
The good news was that rookie Zhou Guanyu got the lion’s share of the luck, managing 71 laps in the afternoon of Day 2, and a further 41 on Friday morning. He did spin into the gravel, beaching the car, which brought out the red flags, and then parked up on the main straight after finally getting back out. That curtailed his running – and Bottas could only add a further 10 laps, leaving the Finn very short of practice at his new team.