So far, seven of the 11 teams have revealed their test schedule plans for who’s in their cars this week at Bahrain. The four-day test, the second of the Formula One season, runs from Wednesday Feb. 19 through Saturday Feb. 22.
Mercedes-powered teams, which got the most running in at Jerez last month, have two of their four team lineups set. McLaren will see Kevin Magnussen, who set the fastest overall time at Jerez, in on Wednesday and Thursday with Jenson Button taking over Friday and Saturday. Meanwhile the Force India team will run Nico Hulkenberg the first two days with Sergio Perez in the next two.
Renault, which had the most work to do after Jerez, has seen all four of its teams’ lineups revealed. Red Bull will have Sebastian Vettel in the first two days, with Daniel Ricciardo in after that. Lotus, which skipped the Jerez test but did do a single day’s worth of running there for filming purposes, will have Romain Grosjean in for Wednesday and Thursday and Pastor Maldonado in Friday and Saturday.
Toro Rosso has opted to alternate drivers daily, as Daniil Kvyat will run Wednesday and Friday, and Jean-Eric Vergne in Thursday and Saturday. Caterham, meanwhile, will give reserve driver Robin Frijns the car on Wednesday, Kamui Kobayashi two days (Thursday and Saturday), and Marcus Ericsson only a single day on Friday.
Marussia is the lone Ferrari team to officially confirm its lineup, with Jules Bianchi in for Wednesday and Saturday, and Max Chilton in for Thursday and Friday.
That leaves Mercedes, Williams, Ferrari and Sauber yet to officially confirm who’s running when.
Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.
Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.
The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.
In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.
Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.
Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.
Last Five Seattle Winners
450s 2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto