Scuderia Ferrari have had a strong pre-season testing session at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona and now another of the Italian side’s rivals has admitted that the Maranello team appear to be the stand-out team of pre-season testing. Renault’s technical director Nick Chester believes Ferrari has a clear lead but the field is closely-knit behind them.
“I think it’s super-close. The times [on Thursday were] pretty close and they’ve been close other days but in a different order. We’re getting a better picture every day I’d say as people run lower fuel, but it is super-close. I can say at the moment is Ferrari look like they’re a step out in front. After that is very close. We probably haven’t seen Mercedes’ true pace yet but there’s a lot of other teams that are super-close and I wouldn’t want to try and rank exactly where they are.” – he explained
Renault ended last season fourth in the championship behind Red Bull. Chester says he isn’t sure yet whether they’ve closed the gap to that rival: “It’s still a little tricky to tell. If anything it looks like the grid’s maybe closed up. So maybe everybody’s closer together. I haven’t got a really good picture of where Red Bull are at the moment so I couldn’t really estimate their true pace but if it does look like a lot of teams are pretty close.” – Renault’s technical director Nick Chester concluded.