Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Quick Thoughts: Barber Test Day 1

Here are a couple of thoughts about the first on-track sessions from IndyCar's Barber Open Test:

-How great is it to be Simona de Silvestro right now? What a difference an engine makes! You can't read too much into a single day's testing results, but finishing 6th-fastest in testing would have been a pipe dream last year. Heck, finishing 20th-fastest would have been a stretch. The Iron Maiden should finally have what she needs to compete, and I think we can be ready for some more reminders of what she can do when she has even close to the right tools at hand.

Viso's car won't be tough to pick out.
-The contest for Best Livery in the 2013 field is in full swing, and there are some great entrants early with cars the like the Team Barracuda #98, and the Andretti Autosport RC Cola #25. However, the #5 Team Venezuela PDVSA car of Andretti's EJ Viso is easily the most distinct livery out there. The reds, orange, white, blue and yellow are going to be extremely noticeable on track. Some folks might not like it, but I love seeing different sorts of liveries out there--and I like a distinct car. Let's hope it's noticeable for speed, too--finishing P5 overall on the day was a pretty good start.

-What a bummer for Ana Beatriz and Stefan Wilson yesterday! Due to some car issues with the second Dale Coyne machine, Bia will also need to run today in the morning session, leaving just the afternoon session for Stefan. I can only imagine what it's like to wait that long to get in the car, only to be told you have to wait a liiiiiitle bit longer...

-It's important to remember that Barber is a pretty unique track, both in terms of layout and technical demands. It suits certain types of drivers better, and I saw where Will Power was quoted as saying how different it was from St. Pete and some of the other courses on the schedule. I think that's an important point to make--testing at Barber will be helpful in many ways, but it isn't a cure-all, and it doesn't prepare the drivers for everywhere they'll go this year. That might seem common sense, but it's probably still very good to keep in the back of your mind, lest we over-analyze the test.

-If your favorite driver had a subpar result yesterday, don't hit the panic button. It's just a day of testing, and for many of these teams, it was simply getting cobwebs shaken off. So Dario, Rahal, Saavedra, Bourdais fans--no need to freak out. Just take it in stride.

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