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Featured F1 Testing Day 4: Hulkenberg to the Front!

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

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    F1 testing day 4 Renault.jpg
    Nico Hulkenberg put plenty of smiles on the faces of his Renault team today, dropping a blisteringly fast lap to end the first week of pre-season testing fastest overall.

    As if to prove that the pace displayed by the so far low-key Renault isn't a one off, Hulkenberg would be supported at the sharp end of the times by new team mate Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian sharing driving duties for the French squad and managing a very solid third place overall, just over four tenths down on his Renault colleague and somewhat making up for what has been a relatively disjointed session for the squad during day 4.

    As we say every year, times really do have little meaning in pre-season testing, a fact supported by a closer glance at the times from earlier today (Albon P2 in the Toro Rosso). Despite plenty of chatter about the top teams holding back their true pace throughout the week, confidence is a precious commodity in Grand Prix racing, and a 1-3 heading into the short testing break will certainly not harm the spirits of a somewhat refreshed and reinvigorated Renault team in 2019.

    Today wasn't all positive for the German however, with unconfirmed technical issues forcing the Renault to stop out on circuit toward the end of the day - another unfortunate mechanical problem for a car that does appear to be a little more fragile than some of its rivals in the four days of running undertaken so far.

    Thursday would also see the first time Mercedes picked up the pace out on circuit, the reigning champions traditionally favouring longer runs away from the headlines during the early days of a new season, with both Bottas and Hamilton making a rare appearance in the top five at the end of the running - the Finnish driver taking away bragging rights as he eventually pipped his team mate by over a tenth of a second in the new W10.

    Current pace setting team Ferrari would also be busy today, Charles Leclerc completing 138 laps of running on his way to sixth overall, adding yet more useful mileage to the increasingly expanding bank of data secured by the Italian team during pre-season testing so far.

    At the other end of the spectrum, Williams continue their recovery with a solid amount of laps under their belts for Kubica and George Russell, both drivers taking turns in the new FW42 as Williams look to make up for lost ground on their competitors following a series of delays getting the new car out on track. Despite the encouraging number of laps completed, much of Williams running would be about data gathering and correlation, with Kubica spending plenty of time running round the Barcelona circuit with aero testing devices applied to the car.

    Once free to explore the limits of Formula One 2019, Kubica wouldn't have the best of days behind the wheel, pirouetting the Williams on a couple of occasions as he looks to reacclimatise to Grand Prix racing following a lengthy period of time away from the top flight of motorsport.

    F1 testing day 4 times.jpg

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  2. samprince053

    samprince053
    Seven

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    Just saying before everyone else starts taking these times seriously, they are completely irrelevant and show nothing, until Australia Q3 we have no idea, and even at Australia some cars are more suited, by the Spanish GP we should have a good idea
     
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  3. NDG

    NDG
    Non Dangerous Guy Premium

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    You won't run like Hamilton in Singapore 2018 when there's no pressure to do so. I know sandbagging and the repeat of all suggestions are everywhere. Struggling or not, Merc and Ferrari will always wear them poker faces. How many changes were made after Merc's first championship? And they still managed to take away a total of 5 doubles after car measurements, wings, etc. were changed. If there's one team, one man that can beat them, it's only Ferrari and Vettel.

    I'm not putting any bets on anyone this season, all I want is to be entertained. I'm really hoping for mid pack cars to get some win. Rooting for Danny Ric, Kimi and Sainz to get there somehow.
     
  4. Eckhart von Glan

    Eckhart von Glan
    Premium

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    yes, yes and yes! and don't forget the Hulk, please, nice chap.
     
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  5. Antony Snook

    Antony Snook

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    Testing i very confusing for me. If i look in my old F1 Book Michael Schumacher was always slower in practice and sped up for qualifying. He like all drivers know when to push and when to hold back. Testing is about data airo and perpetration for the 1st race. This is why i haven't watched qualifying for the last decade. The cars are so closely matched by regulations you can have the fastest car change the engine and pull it from the back to the Front Sebastien Vettel has done it. With skill talent and luck it can be pulled off. So i feel qualifying is less relevant than it once was.:mad:
     
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