The test timesheets have been confusing so far, but Red Bull is apparently still on top of the formula one world.
Since pre-season group testing kicked off this month in Valencia and Jerez, a plethora of other teams – notably Renault, Mercedes and even Williams – have looked up to the task of taking on Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren in 2011.
But Toro Rosso’s Franz Tost told Blick newspaper: “Red Bull was clearly the best and the strongest at Jerez.”
According to Estado de S.Paulo, Williams’ Rubens Barrichello – fastest as the four-day test concluded on Sunday – agrees: “Red Bull are in front.”
2010 runner-up Fernando Alonso said in the Spanish press: “On the basis that Red Bull had a half-second advantage at the end of last year, they remain the reference for everybody.”
McLaren’s pace at present is unclear, after Lewis Hamilton said the MP4-26 is a step ahead of last year’s car, before Jenson Button struggled with balance and was notably slow on Sunday.
“I haven’t got a clue where we are, really,” Briton Button told reporters.
But Red Bull’s Mark Webber is adamant: “In general, teams that were fast last year are still fast, us included.”
Meanwhile, photographers captured an interesting innovation on the RB7 at Jerez; a much bigger than usual opening at the rear of the Red Bull’s engine cover.
Cologne’s Express newspaper said the 20-centimetre wide hole is tied up with the channelling of airflow to increase downforce.
“From what I’ve seen so far, I would say Red Bull remains the favourite,” Nick Heidfeld is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
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