I found it hard to supress a laugh at the splutterings going on in the Bahrain paddock right now as Mercedes joins the last pre-season test with its 2022 contender, already highly developed before a single race has been run. As I write this on Thursday there’s no evidence to show the dramatically different-looking car with its shrunken sidepods is any faster as a result, but even as a device simply to distract and throw its rivals off their game, it seems to have done a fine job already. Whether it is legal or not, I guess, will be decided shortly.
The Lotus 88 is the most ingenious F1 car ever | Thank Frankel it’s Friday
Andrew Frankel has been racing cars for over 20 years and testing them for nearer to 30. He is senior contributing writer to both Autocar and MotorSport magazines, sits on the Car of the Year jury and was chief car tester for the Sunday Times for 15 years. He cites driving and writing as the only disciplines for which he has any talent and therefore considers himself vocationally employed. When he is not working he lives quietly in the Wye Valley with his family, a small and unimportant accumulation of cheap old cars and some sheep.