Just watching the qualifying replay, the Mclarens are really quick and they have the nicest looking car too. But as Hammy said, thereís still a lot of questions regarding race pace and tire usage. I expect a lot of Hammy vs. Button battles in the races to come.
As for Mclarenís sister team, Mercedes AMG. I think this will be the year they will finally shed their B-team status. But Iím still cautious though. Despite the Mercís incredible straight line speed, race pace remains an issue. It just occurred to me that their DRS-activated F-duct only serves them during free practice and qualifying as these sessions allow unlimited DRS activation. It will be different during the race as DRS can only be activated in designated zones and in specific conditions. I donít know how they resolved their tire wear issue that plagued them all year last year. Despite these, I think the Merc will be a monster in dogfights as they have the most efficient DRS system out there. Schumacher and Rosberg need to be at the top of their game. It would be nice to see Der Meister win a few this year.
As for Red Bull, where they sandbagging their times in winter testing? They werenít impressive in yesterdayís session. I used to remember last year, the RBR was very aggressive on corners. They seem to have lost that edge this year. I guess they really lost a lot with the ban on blown diffusers. They also have one of the lowest top speed on the speed traps. If this is the case, theyíll likely become sitting ducks at the DRS zones.
Ferrari has a very nervous car. Despite limited gains in winter testing, they are outclassed by their rivals for the moment. Ferrari chairman Luca Montezemolo must be throwing fits right now.
Romain Grosjean put a stunning lap. I really thought Schumi had P3. I guess a GP2 championship can do wonders to oneís confidence. Heís no longer Alonsoís whipping boy. Welcome back to F1. Too bad, Kimi wasnít afforded the same chance to show the Lotusí pace.
As for the midfield, Sauber is quick but is quite fickle. Kamui is doing well. As is Force India. Welcome back to the Hulk. I think Williamís potential is being wasted by mediocre drivers. They shouldíve gotten Sutil, imho.
Itís just minutes away till the five red lights illuminate.