F1 2019 Pre-Season Testing: Renault on Top of Speed Sheet as Hulkenberg posts fastest lap time.

Nico Hulkenberg running towards the fastest lap time of day 4 testing

Nico Hulkenberg was able to win the time but it was not all sweet sails for him as he was in the pits for some issues in his R.S.19. it is also worthy of note that they had the lowest number of runs per day as compared to their previous days’ runs. Alexander Albon of the Toro Rosso team had posted a fastest time of 1m 17.637s earlier in the day. He posted the fastest time during the first session of day 4 while on the on the softest C5 tyres only to be struck down by Hulkenberg later on into the day.

The silver arrows drivers came up with a peep into what power and capacity their W10 has locked up on its inside. Bottas was faster than Hamilton putting him on the fourth position on the speed sheet while the rain man came fifth as Bottas as almost always been faster than Hamilton. It turns out the fastest doesn’t always wins as there are many other technicalities come into play. Many people felt they have not really shown what their car can do and with Charles Leclerc of Renault insinuating some sandbagging. We also are expecting much more from the Silverarrows even though Bottas gave a statement that may imply that they haven’t totally sorted their W10’s balance.

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Charles Leclerc says other teams are sandbagging. Ferrari has been seen as strong from the beginning of the testing but the prancing horse driver, Charles Leclerc isn’t carried away by the lovely time posted and the laps done. Anyone would have expected to have been seeing the reigning champions everywhere but that seems not to be the case and those who know them well enough will tell you that that is not their traditional way of working. It always seems like they run on the hardest settings before working on the easiest and that may sometimes mean driving on the hardest tyres and some other technical settings which may have helped them while giving Hamilton the title of ‘the rain man’.

It is why Leclerc is not fooled by his very good performance all week long. He also feels the performances are not yet directed because he doesn’t know how much other teams are sandbagging. He also think that despite not sure of the other teams, one thing is sure for them- they have been able to run long laps without issues which proves that their SF90 is reliable.

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Leclerc talking about sandbagging from other teams may have been majorly directed to the Mercedes team but Bottas came up to say, ‘it seems like, balance-wise, it’s a little bit on the knife-edge at the moment’. He says they are sorting that out and it seems they haven’t been up there all week but they have improved massively over the same week even though many may not see it yet. Ferrari seems to be at a better place which is a motivation to them as well and they intend to be ahead in Melbourne.

The Haas team has battled reliability issues but it seems they are getting sorted out as they were able to clock 200 laps by the end of the fourth day of testing. Both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean had some pretty good laps.

Antonio Giovinazzi didn’t have a totally fun loaded day as he pulled out the red flags twice within 10 minutes as his C38 stalled on track. The great story is that he had clocked 154 laps.

Photo Credit : www.fromula1.com

Russel proud of Williams even with late arrival

The Williams team did not have much to push out for the day as they were trying to make up for lost time. They had a huge aero rake set up strapped to their FW42. It could have been a lot better for them even though rookie driver George Russel feels proud of the Team despite their properly late arrival. He only managed 11 laps which wasn’t enough time to know his car and he managed to post a best time of 1m 20.997s while on the medium C3 tyres – recall that Hulkenberg posted a time of 1m 17.393s. It is also a concern that the car feels stable but it has not been pushed to its limit to know how it would behave at those speeds and conditions to determine what work to be done on the car.

Hamilton was disturbed as he seemed to be gunning for a fast lap only to find a slow moving Kubica in his way and so veered away from the track to avoid a crash that could have kept them both away from the track at least for the whole day hoping no one would be hurt. a short video on that at :

https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.watch-a-near-miss-for-hamilton-and-kubica.76oqrPXbGmKAe7L2vLT7A7.html

Testing resumes by Tuesday next week, the 26th of February and would run for four days before every team sails to Australia in preparation for the beginning of the season on the 17th of March.

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