Whether you look at the headline times or the news headlines themselves, there’s no escaping the fact that Mercedes dominated the first week of pre-season Formula 1 testing.

The team led the opening day, caused a stir on day two when its dual-axis steering system was spotted for the first time, and returned to the top of the times on Friday’s final day – with Valtteri Bottas’s session-best 1m15.732s lap more than 1.3 seconds faster than the best a non-Mercedes driver managed.

In contrast to that performance – and its own showing 12 months earlier – Ferrari, Mercedes’ closest challenger in 2019, has been considerably muted – with its day-three running affected by an engine failure.

Alex Kalinauckas is joined by Motorsport.com F1 Editor Jonathan Noble and Autosport F1 Reporter Luke Smith to discuss the key talking points at the halfway stage in testing, including why Mercedes appears a clear favourite for now, how much Ferrari might be holding back on straightline speed, and the latest developments concerning Mercedes’ DAS device.


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