Only just validated in an FIA crash test, McLaren brought its new shorter nose to the Austrian Grand Prix, with the single available item to be fitted on Fernando Alonso's car. As was publicly stated by several teams in winter testing, short noses do have their advantages, particularly due to the mandatory neutral central section of the front wing. Red Bull Racing is the other recent example of reducing the car's nose, even though it wasn't as radical a change as McLaren did, replacing its very long nose by a short version that hardly overlaps the front wing.
Sauber F1 had a difficult run up to qualifying as the team rapidly needed to repair damage incurred on Felipe Nasr's car as he crashed in FP3 due to mistakenly opening DRS during his tyre warm-up. Still, they managed to complete the job in time, allowing Nasr to qualify 15th. Team mate Ericsson qualified 3 places higher up.
Lewis Hamilton dominated the first practice session of the day at Monaco, setting the best time of the session early on and remaining on top of the timesheet throughout. All Renault powered cars however, with Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso were on form today, with Verstappen fastest, a tenth off of Hamilton's best.
Red Bull's Christian Horner was proud as a monkey at Barcelona, where his team finally showed up with a short nose, following 14 internal and 4 FIA tests (as reported by AMuS), until at last a design was found to match the regulatory requirements. 2 days later however, the same Horner was quoted as saying “we'll have to look at 2016″, effectively writing off the 2015 campaign after another disappointing race.
McLaren Honda endured a difficult Spanish Grand Prix. Jenson Button suffered severe stability problems that made him abandon all hope for points this season, saying it was the scariest drive in his career.
Ferrari have brought a dramatic car update to Barcelona, and it appears there was hardly an exaggeration when Arrivabene claimed beforehand that 70% of the car was changed. Clearly, the team has put a lot of effort in getting this update package together, but with the changes so dramatic, Ferrari nonetheless opted for Vettel to run with the updates and Raikkonen without, getting a full race of comparison data. On Friday, Raikkonen was still seen running Ferrari's new update packages, including a new sidepod shape, featuring a new outer shape over their entire lengths.