By Jay & Tifosa
March 5 2010
The 2010 season is almost upon us, with a lot of buzz surrounding it. Ferrari seeks to regain its spot at the top, Michael Schumacher has come out of retirement, very interesting driver pairings at McLaren and Ferrari, new teams…it really promises to be a cracker!
Pre-season testing gave us little insight as to who is going to be top-dog, as teams appeared to be very close. Ferrari started on a strong note at the 3-day testing at Valencia, setting the pace initially and topping the timesheets on all three days, with the fastest lap set by Alonso. The highlight perhaps was the fact that Ferrari had no visible issues during this test.
In general, teams mostly run the older parts and setups, which are tried and tested, for the first session of winter testing. Hence, we focus more on the outcome of later tests, wherein teams bring updates that are most likely to end up at the season opener.
However, the crucial second round of testing at Jerez met with a damper, with wet weather putting a spanner into the team’s preparation.
The Prancing Horse still made full use of the available running days by putting in long stints on the F10. The reliability, though, came into question as the teams faced some problems. There were multiple interruptions (electrical and mechanical) for Massa on one of his testing day, losing precious time on a dry track.
With fingers crossed, all was set, thus for the final test at Barcelona, and the weather God finally smiled. The team was greeted with clear skies at the Catalunya circuit. This allowed the team to test their stuff, while we made our observations from the outcome of these four days at Barcelona.
It saw Ferrari back on pace. However, similar electrical and mechanical issues plagued Alonso, which took long hours to resolve. On his final day of testing the F10, Alonso stopped again on the track.
Ferrari though never gave much of an idea about the issues of the F10 and just maintained these were regular and normal problems that testing helped to iron out.
If we look at the total mileage covered by all teams, Ferrari manged to do the maximum of all.
In all Ferrari completed combined driver mileage of 4,350 miles (approx) of testing, which was the most by any team.
The long-run pace appeared to be consistent and good as far as anyone could tell, and persistent rumors in the paddock suggest that Ferrari does indeed have the "Speed".
On the engine front, there was again good news, with Ferrari engine having completed the maximum testing mileage with a total of 11,400 driver miles (approx.) accounting for three teams using the engines – Ferrari, Torro Rosso and Sauber. This is approx. 1700 miles more than the Mercedes engine, used by Mclaren, Mercedes GP and Force India.
The F10 challenger thus appeared to be strong on reliability and consistency.
In part-two of our review, we will go in to the technical details of the F10, discuss the rule changes for 2010, other teams’ prospects and our final verdict on Ferrari’s campaign for the season ahead. Stay tuned!
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