Are testing times misleading?

56761180With the pre-season testing almost over, it is a good time to guess the pecking order of the cars during the season or perhaps not? With STR4 of Toro Rosso launched only yesterday, it was the first time that all the ten teams ran together this season. The analysis can be seen at

When we look at the testing times there are a lot of unknowns e.g. how much fuel was in different cars, track conditions for the given track time, what is the average lap time for a car, etc. Also, teams heads to different tracks making side-by-side comparison impossible.

Still, we can learn about the reliability of the cars through these tests. If Mclaren rear wing is stalling during these tests that means that something is not well in the car. But the continual use of sophisticated data monitoring techniques means teams are increasingly well-equipped to sense failures before they happen, and bring their cars into the pits before any mechanical / other failure.

Also, pecking order is hard to determine from these tests. Many say that few teams use low fuel loads to show promising times to sponsors in these testing.

I, personally, don’t look at the time order during various tests but look for any reliability news.

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