F1 in 2017 is very fast : Ferrari are sandbagging

In 2015, Formula One set itself a target for the cars to be 5 seconds quicker overall by 2017.

A new set of regulations rolled in for the 2017 season including changes to aerodynamics and fat wider tires. This meant the cars would have a lot more grip on the tarmac allowing them to go around a race track faster.

16804353_1382267838498164_3992202954081877615_o.jpgPhoto credit : WTF1

On Day 2 of the second test in Barcelona, Mercedes pilot Valtteri Bottas set a lap time of 1:19:320, which was 5 seconds faster than the pole position time at the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix.

So, we’ve done it then? Somehow we’ve managed to achieve our target of making F1 cars 5 seconds faster!

Well..

On Day 3, Ferrari pilot Sebastian Vettel went 3/10ths faster than Valtteri’s time and set a mind-boggling lap time of 1:19:024.

But here’s the thing..

Experts who were trackside have reported that Vettel was sandbagging in sector 3 by backing off on the start-finish straight. (Sandbagging is the act of under performing on purpose so as to not reveal true potential and performance).

Captures

Let’s look at Seb Vettel’s individual sector times.

Sector 1 : 22:835 s (Purple)

Sector 2 : 29:255 s (Purple)

Sector 3 : 26:934 s.

Seb’s best sector 3 time : 26:691 s.

So, if he could replicate his best S3 time, his lap time would’ve been 1:18:781 s. 

f1-barcelona-pre-season-testing-ii-2017-sebastian-vettel-ferrari-sf70hPhoto credit : motorsport.com

Now..

Although it seems like this is incredible news for Ferrari fans that they are flying this year, it would be rather foolish to get carried away.

I don’t believe for one second that Mercedes and RedBull aren’t sandbagging. They have to be. 

All of this, however, is collectively great news for Formula One as a sport because this is clear evidence that F1 is a lot faster now, and I can’t wait for Australia.

– Aditya Bhat.

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