Since the last round in Bahrain Lotus Technical Director James Allison has announced that he will be leaving the team, which will come as a big blow to the Enstone based outfit, as he has been key to the teams’ recent success. He has yet to leave the team but he isn’t in Barcelona this weekend, before announcing his expected move to Ferrari.Also for next season the team have approved a penalty points system. As of next season a driver can be punished for an offence by having points put on their licence (The more severe the offence the more points they will get penalised) The points will stay on the drivers licence for 12 months and if they reach 12 points over the course of a year they will get banned for 1 race. Hopefully this will result in a bit more consistency a crackdown on repeat offenders. (Yes Pastor Maldonado I’m looking at you)
As it’s the start of the European season teams will have their 1st set of major updates this season. This is especially important for McLaren and Williams as I think it’s fair to say that they have both struggled this season. In a bid to try and catch up to those at the front McLaren spent most of Thursday night bolting new bits to the car, breaking the curfew for the 1st time this season in the process. And was the lack of sleep worth it? In a word; no. So far in practice the car has shown little or no improvement, which must come as really blow, who were surely expecting a lot more than what they got.It is also important to note that for this weekend Pirelli have made the ‘hard’ tyre harder, as well as giving it a lower operating temperature. Opinion has been divided so far over what impact if any this will have during the race.
Right, back to practice, the 1st session was mostly wet with the track only drying out a bit towards the end so the teams and fans alike really didn’t learn to much from it. Just for the record Fernando Alonso was quickest ahead of his teammate Felipe Massa. The 2nd session was far more informative. Vettel was quickest ahead of Alonso and Kimi Riakkonen. Mercedes also looked competitive and Williams seem a bit more optimistic their updates and think they have started to make a bit of a step forward.And now it’s prediction time. I think this weekend we will see a straight fight between Ferrari and Red Bull, and I think Alonso will come out on top. I can see Riakonnen once again getting on the podium with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg coming in just behind them. And my challenge for you the viewer is to not fall asleep. Enjoy the race, or at least make sure you get that ironing done.