Kravitz on who’s hot and who’s not in Barcelona

Mark Scott
Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo tackle wet conditions. Barcelona February 2022.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo tackle wet conditions. Barcelona February 2022.

Sky Sports F1 paddock and pit-lane reporter, Ted Kravitz, has provided his initial assessment of 2022 field following the shakedown event in Barcelona.

In essence, over the course of February 23 to February 25, all 10 tens carried out three unofficial days of winter testing at the Circuit de Catalunya before we head to first and only official test in Bahrain on March 10 to March 12.

Even though the event in Barcelona was closed off to public and only open to select members of the press, there has still be a flurry of information to pore over as we all agonise about what the pecking order will be ahead of the start of the 2022 season.

And, whilst it was a familiar duo in Mercedes and Red Bull at the top end of the timesheet, two other teams have caught Kravitz’s eye for all the right reasons based on his three days of observation.

“Undoubtedly McLaren and Ferrari,” was Kravitz’s answer when asked in a Sky Sports Q and A which teams have made the biggest step up since last year.

“After Day One it just felt like both of those cars could do decent lap times at a moment’s notice and more significant was Mercedes’ surprise at how quick McLaren and Ferrari were, and they’ve got all the GPS data to know that.

“Both teams tried to downplay their improvements through the week but sometimes you can’t slow a good car down.

“The way Carlos Sainz spoke about the Ferrari car and the way Lando Norris tried to downplay McLaren’s, tells me they’re both looking really good.”

Kravitz also picked out McLaren as the most consistent team as well, but that is not to say that Mercedes and Red Bull have fallen down the pecking order as a result.

“The most consistent is McLaren, but the one with the advantage is still probably Mercedes or Red Bull – though only by a couple of tenths.

“Red Bull just got on with it in the tests, did what they needed to do. I don’t think they quite know yet how they stack up against everybody, but it’s obviously a top line car and an adventurous car.

“They did a very, very good lap time on pretty hard tyres so they’re going to be up there – and I think they could be quickest.”

As for those teams that didn’t particularly impress Kravitz, you can put Alpine at the top of that list.

“Let’s start with Alpine, who were last year’s fifth-fastest team, but they’ve sadly taken a real dip in form,” he said.

“There’s questions over reliability, they also had bouncing problems, and the car just doesn’t seem to have inherent pace.

“I think it’s too early to write them off, but they were certainly very disappointed as a team. With two quality drivers like Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, they can’t afford a bad car because they’re not lacking anywhere else.

 

He continued: “Haas and Alfa Romeo weren’t particularly quick and had reliability problems so that’s something for them to work on.

“And the other one for me would be Aston Martin. Looking at other teams in their area – you look at Williams’ more aggressive car – and Aston’s seems to look kind of boxy in what they’ve got.

“I’m sure it’s going to be solid but I think they’re a bit worried about where the speed is going to come from.”

 

PlanetF1 Verdict

 

Ted Kravitz hot on both McLaren and Ferrari

Ted Kravitz thinks McLaren and Ferrari are the teams to look out for.