The 2023 pre season testing is came and went in a flash. After the race, every team takes their cars apart to their individual pieces to inspect, attest and to properly catalog an accurate report of what their car will be composed of for their first race an so on. Every single pieces on the car needs to be submitted the the FIA and Formula 1 and be approved so they know exactly what each car has and if an upgrade is requested and approved the changes that needs to be made, a new report needs to be submitted with everything that was changed down to every single bolt.
In 2021 the FIA introduced a cost cap for each team which ultimately limit how much each team can spend over-all during the season and that includes everything from car expenses to catering and uniforms. As you can guess how deep the pocket of a team like Mercedes AMG Petronas and Scuderia Ferrari vs Hass or Alpine, they are in a much different leagues in term of resources. Having a limit on how much each team can spend throughout the season help teams with a little bit shallower pockets to catch up and make the competition be more about ingenuity ad driver skills vs the unlimited about of money that a team can throw at any problem to help them get ahead or stay ahead.
In 2022 RedBull found out the hard way how serious the FIA is about it when they were fined $7,000,000 for having gone over the limit by said Christian Horner ($400,000) in the catering department. Thats a lot of RedBull and Wings!
Throughout these last 3 days we have seen all 20 cars on the grid testing. we saw the track version of the Red Bull RB19.
Alpine still remains a mystery, their cars has seen some of the most dramatic changes made compared to their 2022 car. However with not much testing laps done compared to the rest of the teams, their true potential remains unclear but what is clear is that the drivers, the team and everyone around in the garage seems to be happy with the car.
George Russell suffered a “Hydraulic Failure” at the end of testing day 2 and before the tow truck came to pick up the car, the team dispatch a crew of 4 with a large black car cover and wrapped the car like a burrito as if it was an alien spaceship that has landed on the track. I think that because teams still have the chance to make adjustments to their cars before they submit their final car that they will be racing with. It only makes sense that Mercedes wouldn’t want to show the ace they have hidden underneath their cars. This will be the hot thing for every photographers and that is to see what underneath Mercedes car looks like.
In an interview, Lewis Hamilton was asked about the cars apparent lack of straight line speed and he acknowledge that saying “it is an area that they are still working on but eliminating the bouncing makes it a much better place to be in when driving the car. He admits saying “we still can’t match the straight line speed of the RedBull and the Ferrari but the car is better, much better”. I’m guessing that means, we may not have crack the straight line speed yet but we will make it up in the corners. And if their cars is much better from last year and we saw how they were creeping up on RedBull and Ferrari at the end of the 2022 season then, we can expect a couple podiums and pole position for Mercedes this year.
Could Mercedes be sandbagging, 100% probability. Everyone likes a little bit of mystery but I know a lot of people cannot wait to take a peak underneath Mercedes’s side skirts!
LET’S GO 2023!