It maybe a new season but still no one has found a way of beating the Mercedes. All we have seen this weekend is Mercedes back at the top after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg settled it with over five minutes to go.
The knock out style of qualifying was not what I expected the timer was to short and this doesn’t give the driver above the chance to respond and the driver above needs to respond with a minute to go. However it did mix the grid up a bit
After the session it appears the sport will revert to the old format or keep the knock out format for Q1 & Q2 in Bahrain. Berine Ecclestone said: “If we go back, Mercedes would be first and second. What I don’t want to see is where you and I could predict how the grid is going to be for the start of a race, and how that race is going to finish.”
It was a good try and teams are due to meet on Sunday to discuss what to do next.
Verstappen building on 2016
Max Verstappen has once again proved himself on track by going fourth fastest. This could be him building on a stunning 2015 and with that Ferrari engine he could deliver good results for Toro Rosso paving a way to a big team.
Verstappen said after the session that his career-best fifth on the grid is proof Toro Rosso have started the year as the team best-placed to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari.
Haas vs Manor
It was close between the two teams but I expected that but I thought Manor who has more experience in F1 to be ahead. The gap was close thou between the two teams. But could Haas be using there Nascar strategies to help them in F1.
Guenther Steiner said “I think I’ve never been happy and unhappy at the same time. Today showed the potential of the car, but we were unable to use it because when we went out we made a few mistakes. Our first lap didn’t stick, and when we went out again we missed out by a few seconds.”
They appear to have built well on their last version of the 2016 car they have through-out winter testing been solidly in the midfield. They got both cars into Q3 and could be on their way to the top of the midfield but this maybe a longer term goal.
Bob Fernley said “I think the whole team can be satisfied to see our cars lining up on the fifth row of the grid for the first race of the season. It has been quite an unusual and disjointed weekend in the lead up to qualifying.”
From what we seen both this weekend and through winter that the battle will be closer between Ferrari and Mercedes, but expect Mercedes just to have that edge over Ferrari.
Also there should be some retirements and accidents from not only the rookies but the established drivers. Things should become clearer in Bahrain.