It’s been a very exciting week in the F1 universe. We’ve seen the first Formula 1 test session of 2010 and the launch of the Virgin Racing team – or, at least, we would have seen the launch of the Virgin Racing team if they’d remembered to put 50p in the meter.
Ferrari set the pace throughout the Valencia test, but at the risk of being labelled a sourpuss (you’d have good reason to; well over 30,000 people attended the test, and some websites went down more often than Didier Drogba in the penalty box) I ought to point out that it’s far too early to draw any firm conclusions. The Valencia circuit has very few straights or fast corners; besides, the potential variance in fuel weights between cars is 150kg or thereabouts. On a circuit like this, which is composed of short squirts and is principally a test of traction, you need to know the fuel weights to understand which cars are working and which aren’t.
Or you can ask a photographer. These doughty souls spend their professional lives lining up fast-moving cars in their telephoto lenses. They can tell you which cars and drivers are out of shape.
Feel free to put a tenner on Fernando Alonso being champion in 2010. I may even do so myself. But don’t forget that Ferrari were quick in winter testing before the 1991 season, and before that year was out Alain Prost had been given his marching orders for comparing his car to a truck.
Still, Renault must be fretting a tad that Bobby K ran out of fuel before the end of his long run…