Feb 27, 2013, 7:03 AM EDT
As the Formula One teams reassemble in Barcelona in time for the final four days of pre-season testing, here’s a view on each of the teams so far.
Red Bull have taken their usual secrecy to new heights: media were forbidden from photographing the RB9 at its launch and the team have hidden it behind screens during testing runs.
The F138 is clearly a better starting point than last year’s F2012. But team principal Stefano Domenciali doesn’t expect Ferrari to start on top despite some encouraging times.
The MP4-28 looks quick out-of-the-box but Jenson Button says the team are behind with their testing programme. They had some reliability problems in Jerez and some of their planned tests took longer than expected.
Technical problems including a gearbox problem and a telemetry glitch has limited their running but the car looks reasonably quick.
While Nico Rosberg has hailed the team’s progress it’s telling that Lewis Hamilton, who drove last year’s quickest car, has been more restrained in his praise.
The C32 has covered more mileage in testing than any other car: Sauber have completed over 2,100 miles and rookie Esteban Gutierrez has 416 laps on the board.
Remarkably the team which almost won the last race of 2012 still hasn’t finalised its driver line-up for this year. Adrian Sutil and Jules Bianchi are in the frame.
The only team not to bring their new car to the first test. Both drivers were very positive after their first taste of the FW35.
The drivers are encouraged by the STR8, which offers more versatile set-up options than its troublesome predecessor. It’s run well, too.
The CT03 bears a close resemblance to its predecessor and so far does not look likely to trouble the midfield.
New driver Max Chilton did all the running in Barcelona last week, raising questions over team mate Luiz Razia’s place at the squad. All Marussia have said so far about their plans for this week is that Chilton will drive on day one.
For more on testing so far see Will Buxton’s view from the track.