Testing for the new season of Formula One kicked off at Barcelona this week. This test was the first time the public saw the new cars in action.
This year, F1 cars will sport larger tires and much more aggressive aerodynamics. The new rules had two clear goals: To make the cars faster (as much as five seconds faster) than 2016 cars and to make the cars look more aggressive.
The clear winner of the test was Mercedes. Usually, rule changes cause an upset of the order as one team figures out an advantage over the others. Unfortunately for those expecting a change, this time around, it looks like Mercedes came to the first test with a car that looks as solid and as fast (if not faster) than its predecessor.
Ferrari consistently topped the time sheets. It is clear that the new Ferrari is much faster and more stable than last years. However, journalists and F1 watchers believe that the majority of those laps were on low fuel. Regardless, Ferrari has made a step forward and the second test will show if they can match Mercedes.
Red Bull started the test badly, with some reliability issues. By the end of the test, they had completed a decent amount mileage on the new car. They did not do any flying laps and did not appear to be in a position to challenge Mercedes domination just yet.
McLaren, the last of the big four, had a horrendous test. They will be hoping for a much better showing at the final test before the season opener in Melbourne.