Brundle: 'McLaren looking very good'
Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle believes McLaren have closed the gap to Red Bull but Ferrari have 'issues' to solve before the new season.
Last Updated: 02/03/12 6:12am
After taking his first look at the 2012 chargers in action, Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle believes McLaren have closed the gap to Red Bull but Ferrari still have "issues" to solve just two weeks before the start of the new season.
In attendance for the first day of the second and final winter test in Barcelona, Martin enjoyed a positive first impression of the MP4-27 from trackside as Jenson Button put McLaren's new charger through its paces but was compelled to raise doubts about Ferrari's state of readiness.
"The teams are doing a lot of long runs with high fuels so I don't think the absolute lap times are that important but I have to say I've had a couple of hours right beside the race-track this afternoon and the McLaren is looking very good," Martin told Sky Sports News.
However, in sharp contrast to that enthusiastic endorsement of the MP4-27, the Sky Sports F1 analyst and pundit was seemingly far from enthused by his first look at the radical F2012.
"The Ferrari looks a bit of a handful, especially when it's coming out of a corner trying to put the power down. Instead of doing long runs, like the Red Bull and McLaren, they are still trying to sort their car. There's time yet, and they will put a lot of new parts on before Melbourne, and it doesn't look as bad as the McLaren did last year, but they've got some issues - there's no doubt about it."
Although the general consensus hitherto over the winter has been that World Champions Red Bull remain out in front ahead of the chasing pack, Martin suspects that the Milton Keynes outfit may no longer be occupying the position of dominance they have enjoyed for the past two years.
"The Red Bull looks good, like the McLaren, but it is not glued to the track like it was last year. You can see Mark Webber working quite hard at the wheel so I can understand why some of my mates in the paddock, who I would trust to tell me about these sort of things, are saying it's looking really close. The Red Bull doesn't look head and shoulders above the other cars like it did, say, in the second half of last year."