Last week was the first test of the F1 season in Jerez, Spain, and here's some of what we know and don't know...
- Force India wasn't there - claiming everything from supplier issues, to cold temps, to an abrasive track surface, to Jerez just not being relevant, Force India was absent from last week's testing. They admit that this year's car isn't ready yet, and won't be ready for the second test in about two weeks. Rumors are circling that the team not only won't be ready to test at either session in Barcelona, but won't be ready to compete in Melbourne.
- Ferrari power was fastest in Jerez - On the plus side Ferrari powered cars were at the top of the time sheets every day of testing last week, with only Sauber taking the top spot from Ferrari one day of testing. What we don't know, about Ferrari's performance - a lot. For starters, was either team's speed due to better engine performance or a lower fuel load? Was either Ferrari team running at full power?
- Mercedes ran a lot. On the first day of testing they got in a staggering 157 laps, which may be a record for any day of testing. Over the course of the entire test, Mercedes got in 516 laps - no other team ran more than 400 laps. The one weakness of the team last year was reliability, and while the test wasn't trouble free for the team it looks like they've made progress on stamping out last year's bugs... The question is - how much did they have their power unit turned down?
- McLaren Honda ran a little. Much like last year's post season test in AbuDhabi, McLaren Honda is still struggling to get their program in gear. They did get in more running than Red Bull did last year, so I guess that's a plus. At least Eric Boullier says it is...
- Red Bull is hiding something. Red Bull's new car ran the test clad in swirly camouflage more commonly spotted on concept cars being tested by an auto maker and not typically found on a race car. So the question is - what are they hiding?
- Caterham is done. Probably. Administrator Finbarr O'Connell says that the packages for the potential buyers weren't as advanced as he would have liked and now the team is up for liquidation. Auctions are scheduled for March to sell off several of the remaining assets. So it looks like the team is done.
- Marussia might not be done. Even though much of the team's assets were auctioned off in December, it's not all gone yet, and Graeme Lowdon, former team principal says that he has the money to resurrect the team now known as Manor Racing. The problem is, they don't currently have a car that's compliant with the 2015 regulations. The team got clearance from the FIA to run a modified 2014 car to start the season - but the teams get final approval of the plan and they needed to approve it unanimously. Unfortunately Force India voted it down. Now remember, in order for Marussia/Manor to collect their share of the 2014 prize fund that they're owed, they need to compete in 2015, if the team can't compete in 2015 that share of the prize money goes to the remaining teams... Bob Fernley at Force India swears that his veto of Manor's application wasn't money related, Bob Fernley at Force India who tried to stage a boycott of last year's Grand Prix of America due how prize money is distributed. Bob Fernley at Force India - who missed the first test of the season, will most likely miss the second test of the season and rumor has it, might not make it to the first race of the season... As the saying goes - J'Accuse!!!