N oh the relatively comfortable curling up in the first week of testing, the drivers could hardly wait for the second half of the testing program to begin. The shortening of the preparation from eight to six days ensures that every kilometer is of great importance for the staff in the cockpits as well as in the garages.
After all, the weather has so far been friendly to the ten teams. We are far from the onset of winter, as it disrupted the test program two years ago. During the first rounds of installation in the morning, the mechanics always have to wear a little thicker clothing, but the mercury has always easily climbed into the double-digit range by the lunch break. Not a single rain cloud threatened the schedule.
Top teams with half-day drivers
The importance of the constant conditions for the teams can be seen from the deployment plans. In order to achieve a daily performance of almost 200 laps per car, two drivers per day have to report ready for action in almost all garages. During the lunch break the big bed change takes place in the boxes.
Alfa is like last week Romeo is the only team that even has a test driver. Robert Kubica was again given the honor of starting the test program for the Swiss racing team on Wednesday. However, instead of Antonio Giovinazzi on the agenda for the afternoon as seven days ago, Kimi Räikkönen was on the agenda.
The three top teams only had half-day jobs on Wednesday. Mercedes started the second half of the test winter with Lewis Hamilton in the car. TheWorld champions had to deal with Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari and Alexander Albon in the Red Bull on the track. In the afternoon, Valtteri Bottas, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen were able to put their talent to the test in a direct comparison.
Only Grosjean drives all day
They were also in midfield at the start of the second week of testing Almost all regular drivers are already in use. Only at Haas did they decide to occupy the car with just one driver for the full eight hours. Romain Grosjean was preferred here. Teammate Kevin Magnussen has to sit out until Thursday. The US racer will not be divided until the grand finale on Friday.
As you are used to, in our picture gallery we not only focus on the drivers, but above all on the technology. Some teams had already screwed new parts onto their cars in the morning. Williams and Alfa Romeo had new front wings. New baffles at Haas. At McLaren a modified diffuser. And at Ferrari a new rear wing and a new bonnet.
The technology race is in full swing. We will of course take a close look at the racing cars throughout the day. The picture gallery is constantly updated with new detailed photos.