Grids become more flexible?

Michael Schumacher, Spanish GP 2006

Michael Schumacher, Spanish GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Formula 1 is in a state of flux at the moment as the teams take tentative steps into the complex world of flexible wings which are now legal if the cars meet the requirements demanded in the scrutineering bay. This is going to shuffle the pack somewhat in the next few months as the more cautious teams move down that path. In a world where sudden improvement is rare, there are some unusual leaps forward being made.

The Saturday morning practice session in Barcelona was headed by Michael Schumacher's Ferrari, which is not a surprise now and he had Giancarlo Fisichella right with him and Nick Heidfeld not far behind. The big surprise of the weekend has been the performance of the two Red Bull Ferraris which have suddenly found a great leap in performance. Christian Klien and David Coulthard were fourth and fifth in the session ahead of Rubens Barrichello's Honda, Felipe Massa's Ferrari, Fernando Alonso's Renault and the McLarens of Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen. Jenson Button was 11th fastest ahead of Scott Speed's Toro Rosso.

The order will certainly change in qualifying as others wind up the performance but it is clear that we can expect a few unusual names at the front end of the grid this weekend.