Tag Archives: Jerez

Jerez test 2 statistics

Over the last 4 days in Jerez we have seen 16,534 km of F1 cars being tested in the dry, wet, and windy conditions. Here I have compiled all of the statistics that I could find and put it into  simple charts.

Driver combined times (Jerez test 2):


Driver Team Car Fastest lap Difference
# of laps
1.

2.

J. Button

R. Kubica

McLaren

Renault

MP4-25

R30

1.18.871

1.19.114

0.000

+0.243

209

217

3.

4.

K. Kobayashi

M. Webber

Sauber

Red Bull

C29

RB6

1.19.188

1.19.299

+0.317

+0.428

145

202

5.

6.

V. Liuzzi

N. Rosberg

F. India

Mercedes

VJM03

W01

1.19.650

1.20.061

+0.779

+1.190

151

187

7.

8.

F. Alonso

J. Alguersuari

Ferrari

T. Rosso

F10

STR5

1.20.115

1.21.053

+1.244

+2.182

269

259

9.

10.

N. Hulkenberg

M. Schumacher

Williams

Mercedes

FW32

W01

1.21.432

1.21.437

+2.561

+2.566

275

190

11.

12.

A. Sutil

T. Glock

F. India

Virgin

VJM03

VR-01

1.21.939

1.22.433

+3.068

+3.562

97

136

13.

14.

S. Vettel

L. Hamilton

Red Bull

McLaren

RB6

MP4-25

1.22.593

1.23.017

+3.722

+4.146

191

144

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

F. Massa

S. Buemi

P. de la Rosa

J. Trulli

L. di Grassi

Kovalainen

P. di Resta

V. Petrov

R. Barrichello

F. Fauzy

Ferrari

T. Rosso

Sauber

Lotus

Virgin

Lotus

F. India

Renault

Williams

Lotus

F10

STR5

C29

T127

VR-01

T127

VJM03

R30

FW32

T127

1.23.204

1.23.322

1.23.367

1.23.470

1.23.504

1.23.521

1.25.088

1.26.237

1.27.145

1.31.848

+4.333

+4.451

+4.496

+4.599

+4.633

+4.650

+6.271

+7.366

+8.274

+12.977

80

103

109

141

34

98

130

112

179

76

Driver mileage (Jerez test 2):


Driver Distance covered (km)
1. N. Hulkenberg 1217.700
2. F. Alonso 1191.132
3. J. Alguersuari 1146.852
4. R. Kubica 960.876
5. J. Button 925.452
6. R. Barrichello 916.596
7. M. Webber 894.456
8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

N. Rosberg

M. Schumacher

S. Vettel

F. Massa

K. Kobayashi

J. Trulli

S. Buemi

L. Hamilton

V. Petrov

T. Glock

P. di Resta

V. Liuzzi

H. Kovalainen

A. Sutil

P. de la Rosa

F. Fauzy

L. di Grassi

890.028

841.320

748.332

726.192

642.060

624.348

602.208

571.212

491.508

487.080

473.796

460.512

433.944

429.516

371.952

336.528

150.552

Driver mileage- Total (3 days at Valencia and 8 at Jerez):


Driver # of laps Distance covered (km)
1. F. Alonso 613 2660.643
2. F. Massa 622 2658.618
3. R. Barrichello 594 2555.361
4. R. Kubica 593 2546.28
5. N. Hulkenberg 586 2541.510
6. J. Alguersuari 530 2305.809
7. M. Schumacher 520 2250.954
8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

17.

18.

19.

20.

21.

22.

23.

24.

25.

S. Buemi

N. Rosberg

J. Button

L. Hamilton

K. Kobayashi

P. de la Rosa

M. Webber

S. Vettel

V. Petrov

V. Liuzzi

A. Sutil

J. Trulli

T. Glock

P. di Resta

L. di Grassi

H. Kovalainen

G. Paffett

F. Fauzy

466

469

442

418

399

391

351

318

281

255

229

141

121

107

105

98

86

76

2010.573

2009.898

1922.490

1805.220

1726.164

1666.206

1554.228

1408.104

1212.543

1129.140

1014.012

624.348

535.788

473.796

464.940

433.944

344.430

336.528

Mileage per chassis (Total):


Chassis # of laps Distance covered (km)

1. F10 1235 5319.261
2. FW32 1180 5096.871
3. STR5 996 4316.382
4. W01 989 4260.852
5. MP4-25 946 4072.14
6. R30 874 3758.823
7. C29 790 3392.37
8.

9.

10.

11.

RB6

VJM03

T127

VR-01

669

591

315

226

2962.332

2616.948

1394.82

1000.728

Mileage per engine (Total):


Engine Name Distance covered (km)
1. Ferrari Type 056 13028.013
2. Mercedes FO108v 10949.94
3. Cosworth CA2010 7492.419
4. Renault RS27 6721.155

20th February- Testing results: Button on top in final day at Jerez

Jenson Button in the McLaren in Jerez today

Jenson Button in the McLaren in Jerez today

The Jerez testing fortnight finally ended today. Note the “finally”, because the teams must have been completely exasperated by the horrible weather conditons we have had over the last 2 weeks. Nevertheless, Jenson Button finished the test on a high, as he topped the timesheets today.

The Briton’s time of 1.18.871 was the fastest of the entire testing fortnight,  ahead of Robert Kubica (1.19.114) and Kamui Kobayashi (1.19.188). The weather was excellent today, as shown by the fact that the 3 fastest times of the last 2 weeks were set today. Most of these fast laps were set in the morning, as everyone switched to heavy fuel running in the afternoon.

Unlike the other days, we didn’t have scrambling of strategies to suit the conditionsm as the teams focused mostly on long fuel runs. Therefore, we didn’t see as much action as we have over the last few days. However, one of the main causes of concern was for Mark Webber, who suffered a serious mechanical problem. This has not been explained yet by Red Bull, but his engine was changed as a precautionary measure. Also, the only other red flag today was for Timo Glock, who stopped after another hydraulic problem for the Virgin car.

In fact, before the problem, he was really on the pace, lapping the same as the rest of the midfield, before the hydraulic gremlins showed up again after only 28 laps. Jarno Trulli and the Lotus team fared much better. Although their best lap was 1 second slower than Glock, they managed 141 laps in total, the highest of any driver today.

The rest of the paddock all were as solid as Lotus. Jaime Alguersuari got in 139 laps, followed closely by Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso (137). Nico Rosberg got 130 laps, while Kubica and Kobayashi managed 117. Otherwise, Button got 108, Webber got 87 and Liuzzi got 80. Over the last 4 days, Nico Hulkenberg has got the most mileage in, with a mammoth 275 laps.

Statistics from the entire test will be up soon.

Today’s times:


Driver Team Car Fastest lap Difference
# of laps
1. J. Button McLaren MP4-25 1.18.871 108
2. R. Kubica Renault R30 1.19.114 +0.243 117
3. K. Kobayashi Sauber C29 1.19.188 +0.317 117
4. A. Liuzzi F. India VJM03 1.19.650 +0.799 80
5. N. Rosberg Mercedes W01 1.20.061 +1.190 130
6. F. Alonso Ferrari F10 1.20.436 +1.565 137
7. J. Alguersuari T. Rosso STR5 1.21.053 +2.182 139
8.9.

10.

11.

M. Webber

N. Hulkenberg

T. Glock

J. Trulli

Red Bull

Williams

Virgin

Lotus

RB6

FW32

VR-01

T127

1.21.194

1.21.919

1.22.433

1.23.470

+2.323

+3.048

+3.562

+4.599

87

137

28

141

Pictures from the test:

19th February- Testing results: Webber leads in the dry conditions

Mark Webber topped the timesheets today in a sunny Jerez

Mark Webber topped the timesheets today in a sunny Jerez

At last, the sun breaks through in Jerez, as Mark Webber makes full use of the glorius sunshine to top the timesheets today.

In fact, there were torrential downpours last night in the area, as many personnel struggled to even get out of the track. In the morning, although the track was slightly damp, the sun was out, so it would clear very quickly. Nearly everyone was confident of good weather today. In the first half hour, there were only a few installation laps to check the conditions, but not much else. But, at 08:30, Heikki Kovalainen stopped out on track with a clutch sensor problem. The team brushed it off as a small problem, but the Finn was forced to wait on the sidelines until 12:00 to get out again. Meanwhile, by 09:00, the sun was out in full force, track temperatures had risen, and the track had completely dried out.

Many drivers were lapping either cautiously or very heavy with fuel. The fastest times were in the 1.23 and 1.24 zone. At 09:40, there were reports that Lucas di Grassi had crashed at Turn 12. It soon  turned out that he didn’t hit the barriers, but only just avoided them. This was to be the second red flag of the day, after Kovalainen. However, once the session restarted, Kobayashi instantly brought the session to a halt again, but it is unclear what happened. It seems as though he simple stopped on track. Once the session restarted, it was time for slick tyres, with Alonso, Kubica, Sutil and Webber out to take the most from it. Webber’s 5-lap run left him in the 1.24’s, while Alonso, and then Alguersuaria and Schumacher, all got into the 1.23’s. Jenson Button headed out at 10:30, had the track to himself for a while, and immidiately got a 1.22.6 as his reward.

Lucas di Grassi after crashing at Turn 12

Lucas di Grassi after crashing at Turn 12

Kamui Kobayashi after stopping on track

Kamui Kobayashi after stopping on track

Track temperature was now 22 degrees, and there was less wind than yesterday, so fastest laps were estimated to be nearly as quick as the ones last week. Lucas di Grassi did one installation lap, to inspect for any damage to his car, and pitted quickly, and many believed the car was fine. At 10:30, Fernando Alonso got a 1.21.969, after a 7-lap run. Button got back out again, and by 11:00 got a 1.21.435. Webber and Alonso soon got 1.21.7 and 1.21.8 repsectively, which meant the track had rubbered in well. After 6 laps, all of Button’s laps were in the 1.21’s, which shows he was really on the pace. Webber was 5 laps into his stint, all in the 1.22’s, when he stopped out on the straight, with a suspected mechanical problem.

At 11:30, it seemed that Nico Hulkenberg was mixing lap times with pit stop practice, but only getting into the 1.25 mark with his laps. This, however, was believed to have been a full race simulation, which means he would have been full up on fuel.  Soon though, Button broke into the 1.20 zone, as part of a 7-lap run. By 12:30, Adrian Sutil was the next to improve his times, getting a 1.22.5. Schumacher, after a 10-lap run, got a 1.21.9, with most in the 1.22 or 1.23 range. At 13:00, Alonso went back out, and was suddenly firing on all cylinders, getting straight down to 1.20.115, then 1.20.1, 1.20.6, 1.20.5, 1.20.6, and 1.20.7. This great consistency shows the Ferrari has true pace this year. Kovalainen was out at 13:00, to test two different types of tyre compound rather than fuel,but his fastest lap was only 1.26. He soon had to pit though, because of a cracked exhaust.

At 14:00, Webber got a 1.19.3, putting him 7 tenths clear of the rest of the field. He soon managed a 1.19.6 before pitting. At 14:20, Lucas di Grassi caused another stoppage, this time at the Dry Sack hairpin. When the session resumed 20 minutes later, Webber immidiately got a 1.19.299. Kovalinen got back on track at 15:00 after his exhaust problem, and got a 1.24.924 on one of his first laps out. From then until the end, it was just race simulations, so no new fast times were set. The session was ended 3 minutes early, after Hulkenberg stopped at the Dry Sack corner, but we’re not sure what the problem was this time. Despite this, he managed the most laps today, with 138, ahead of Alonso on 132, Alguersuari on 120, Webber on 115, Button on 101 and Kubica on 100. Di Grassi only got 34, while Kobayashi got 28.

All of today’s times:

Today’s times:


Driver Team Car Fastest lap Difference
# of laps
1. M. Webber Red Bull RB6 1.19.299 115
2. F. Alonso Ferrari F10 1.20.115 +0.816 132
3. J. Button McLaren MP4-25 1.20.394 +1.095 101
4. N. Hulkenberg Williams FW32 1.21.432 +2.133 138
5. M. Schumacher Mercedes W01 1.21.437 +2.138 79
6. R. Kubica Renault R30 1.21.916 +2.617 100
7. A. Sutil F. India VJM03 1.21.939 +2.640 69
8.

Red9.

10.

11.

K. Kobayashi

J. Alguersuari

L. di Grassi

H. Kovalainen

Sauber

T. Rosso

Virgin

Lotus

C29

STR5

VR-01

T127

1.22.228

1.22.564

1.23.504

1.23.521

+2.929

+3.265

+4.205

+4.222

28

120

34

68

Pictures from the test:

18th February- Testing results- Barrichello storms through the rain

Today in Jerez, we again saw the weather hamper runnings, but not without some good news. For example, Barrichello proved he has pace in the Williams, and the Virgin finally got up to speed.

Once again, as the session started at 8, the track was damp and required intermidiates. Unlike the other days, all the teams are pessimistic about the forecast. Inside Ferrari simply says on Twitter: “Nothing new at Jerez: just rain, rain and more rain to come…”

The good news is that Timo Glock was straight out of the pits today in the Virgin, and within half an hour had set 15 laps. But, he speared off at the Michelin corner (turn 2), and the red flags were out while his car was being recovered. When the session resumed, Felipe Massa led the way with a 1.30 time. At 9:00, Heikki Kovalainen made his first laps for Lotus, made 3 installation laps, but failed to set a time, and returned to the pits soon after. Yesterday’s power steering issue had been resolved, so the team were confident. Worryingly enough, Glock’s off was more serious than anticipated, as the doors to the Virgin garage were locked off as the car was taken apart for repairs. He didn’t actually hit anything when he spun, but it is believed thata mechanical problem of some sort caused the spin.

Timo Glock after spinning off

Timo Glock after spinning off

By 9:20, Ferrari were reporting a problem with Massa’s car, saying: “We have a technical issue: the stop will not be short… Nothing serious but it will take time to sort it out.” The rain soon got heavier, and more was forecast for later today. The rain got so heavy that all of the electricity sockets in the media centre lost power, because of electrical problems. Lewis Hamilton made the call for extreme wets at 9:40, and his fastest lap in his 5-lap run was a 1.36, showing how bad the conditions had become. By 10:00, the red flag was shown, not for an incident, but because there was so much standing water on the track. While the teams regrouped, it turned out that there was a problem with Kovalainen’s Lotus. It is unclear what happened, but a picture was taken, so you can see for yourself.

A problem in the Lotus pits

A problem in the Lotus pits

In fact, by 10:30, the weather was so bad the teams couldn’t even practice pit stops. The media centre apparently didn’t even have lighting, the journalist’s laptop lights were the only brightness in the room. Let’s make it clear, though, that this is nowhere near the monsoon we saw at Malaysia last year. Vettel, Kovalainen, Glock and Buemi all went out soon, but didn’t manage much, although Glock and Vettel did get good mileage in the conditions. By 11:30, Glock had finished a 13-lap stint, leaving him with 40 laps already under his belt. Plenty of cars braved the conditions, but few set good lap time, mostly in the 1.35 range. At 11:50, Kovalainen ran off at Turn 3, after an 8-lap run, and got stuck in the gravel. His front wing was badly damaged, so Lotus were forced to evaluate the damage to the car.

Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus being towed after his crash

Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus being towed after his crash

By 12:30, conditions were slightly improving, with no rain falling, but the track still wet and windy. Vitaly Petrov managed a 1.30.6, a good lap in those conditions. Everyone was still on extreme wets at this point. Rubens Barrichello was alternating betwen very fast and very slow laps, getting a 1.27 and a 1.35 in the same 17-lap stint. His best and worst times were 9 seconds apart, showing you how varying the conditions were. It wasn’t the rain that was hampering the team’s efforts, it was the wind. Inside Ferrari reported: “The wind is making the day even more troubled…” The good news was, the track was improving, as Petrov got into the 1.27.8 by 13:00.

By 1, everyone knew that the Lotus would be out of action for the day. Kovalainen was apologetic on his Twitter account, while Mike Gascoyne said: “Slight off for Heikki. Knocked off the front wing. Spare on its way but will not be here until 2am in the morning so no more running today” . “Conditions drying up so a shame not to get any dry running today”. Up to about 14:00, there was little change at Jerez, at the track still wasn’t drying out enough. Paul di Resta handed over his car to Vitantonio Liuzzi at 2, and he got stuck in immidiately, setting a 1.30.6 after 9 laps. Many teams had given up on conditions, such as Ferrari, who decided to practice pitstops, as the Williams crew watched them sometimes.

Pit stop practice for the Williams crew

Pit stop practice for the Williams crew

At 14:30, Timo Glock went out, and was the only man on track for 15 minutes, before Petrov joined him. Glock finished an 8-lap run, his fastest lap being 1.31, and getting up to 46 laps. He pitted, went straight back out, and instantly set a 1.30.4, only 3 seconds behind Barrichello. This pushed them up to 8th in today’s standings. Unfortunately, by 15:00, most of the teams were either practicing pit stops or testing race preparations. While many cars went out at the end for a final run, they were nowhere near the pace they needed, so it was a frustrating end to the day for everyone. Barrcihello’s earlier lap of 1.27.145 was the fastest of the day, followed by Petrov, Vettel, Rosberg, Massa, De la Rosa, di Resta, Glock, Liuzzi, Hamilton, Buemi and Kovalainen. Barrichello set the most laps, with 98, while de la Rosa only got in 8 in the morning. Barrichello’s fastest lap meant that 6 different teams have topped the timesheets in as many testing days. This is very good news for this season, even if most of it was in the wet.

The predicted floods never arrived, but it was close to it in the morning. The good news is, better conditions are forecast for tomorrow.

Update: Virgin have released a video of their day in Jerez. Clearly they had nothing better to do while it was wet :P (extreme Virgin joke reference possibility!)

Today’s times:


Driver Team Car Fastest lap Difference
# of laps
1. R. Barrichello Williams FW32 1.27.145 98
2. V. Petrov Renault R30 1.27.828 +0.683 56
3. S. Vettel Red Bull RB6 1.28.162 +1.017 70
4. N. Rosberg Mercedes W01 1.28.515 +1.370 71
5. F. Massa Ferrari F10 1.28.879 +1.734 92
6. P. de la Rosa Sauber C29 1.29.691 +2.546 8
7. P. di Resta Force India VJM03 1.30.344 +3.199 33
8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

T. Glock

V. Liuzzi

L. Hamilton

S. Buemi

H. Kovalainen

Virgin

F. India

McLaren

T.Rosso

Lotus

VR-01

VJM03

MP4-25

STR5

T127

1.30.476

1.30.666

1.31.633

1.32.678

1.33.554

+3.331

+3.521

+4.488

+5.533

+6.409

72

24

57

57

30

Pictures from today’s test:

Hydraulics problems for Virgin team

Timo Glock in the Virgin VR-01 today in Jerez

Timo Glock in the Virgin VR-01 today in Jerez

Today the Virgin team managed only 10 laps in Jerez, which is no improvement over last week’s disaster, also at Jerez. Today, it was revealed that the team were absent for most of the afternoon because they were attempting to fix a hydraulic problem.

The team believed that they had finally evaded the wet weather that had dogged them last week, before they spent the afternoon today in diagnostic mode. This is where the car undergoes a series of out-laps, then returns to the pits. Each time, a different hydraulic setup is used, to try and fix the problem. This also explains why Timo Glock made so many installation laps before entering the pits today. As a result of all this diagnostic work, the team was only able to complete 10 laps of the Jerez circuit today.

Technical director Nick Wirth said:

“We have experienced a sequence of hydraulic problems which were tricky to diagnose on a new car. This caused us to suffer long and frustrating periods confined to the garage and when we did venture out on track it was purely to conduct a series of exploratory out-laps to try to understand if we had cured the problem. We eventually discovered the real issue, albeit rather late in the day. “

“Nonetheless, having fully identified the problem, we can fix it tonight and look forward to what we hope will be a more constructive day of running for Timo (Glock) and the team tomorrow.”

Here’s the thing: how much longer can things go wrong for Virgin? Glock and di Grassi must be sick of so many precious testing days wasted because of faults with the car. The changing weather is unavoidable, but this and last week’s front wing failure is hugely damaging to the team’s preparations for Bahrain.

17th February: Testing results- Vettel leads

Yet another wet day of testing at Jerez, as Sebastian Vettel gets his Red Bull RB6 to the top pf the timesheets today.

Unlike the other days, today was mostly made up of heavy showers and persistent dampness, meaning no properly fast laps could be set. The best time to be out on track was in the early afternoon, where Vettel set his lap of 1.22.593.

The day started out quite damp, with the cars lapping cautiously around the 1.30 mark. Minutes into the session, Lewis Hamilton caused the first red flag of the day, stopping out on track. Then, only 4 minutes after the green flags came out, Paul di Resta spun his Force India, and stopped the session again. The track was empty while the removal trucks got rid of the VJM03.

Paul di Resta after spinning out on track

Paul di Resta after spinning out on track

When the session resumed, the track was still damp. Massa’s lap of 1.30.327 was the fastest at around 9:00. Air and track temperature was around 13 degrees at this point. Light rain fell soon, and we were still waiting for most of the cars to come out for the first time at around 9:30. Fairuz Fauzy took out the Lotus for its first laps, running a very heavy fuel load, and lapped in a 1.39, 7 tenths slower than Hamilton’s best so far. Let me say that I’m impressed with the Lotus team so far. They have achieved far more today than Virgin did all last week.

Fairuz Fauzy in the Lotus

Fairuz Fauzy in the Lotus

Vitaly Petrov made Renault’s first appearance of the day at 10:00, but the rain suddenly increased, forcing him back into the pits immidiately. Although the sun came out quickly enough, the track was still wet. During a 6-lap run, Pedro de la Rosa set the fastest lap of 1.27.8at 11:00. The final car to leave the pits for the first time was the Virgin of Timo Glock, at 11:00, when the track was beginning to dry out. However, he only did one installation lap before pitting again. Track conditions soon improved, with a dry line starting to appear and track temperature around 23 degrees.

Rubens Barrichello brought out the third red flag, stopping out on track after he ran out of fuel. This seems to be a new tactic for many teams: run the car until it runs out of fuel, so as to get better fuel usage telemetry. However, the constant red flags are very infuriating for the others. By 12:00, lap times were falling fast, with Hamilton in the 1.24 zone after a 21-lap run, and Massa in the 1.23’s after a 5-lap run. Then, Felipe runs out of fuel (tactical), and brings out the fourth red flag.

When the green flag came out again, Sebastien Buemi was instantly on the pace, setting a 1.24.810 as his fastest lap so far. He was improving on his lap times every lap, so it was more good form for him and the team. Sebastian Vettel made a 24-lap stint work well for him, only 0.017 off Massa’s time. The German then set three fastest laps in a row at 13:00, his fastest lap being 1.22.593. This was the fastest lap of the day. Michael Schumacher finished a 24-lap run, but failed to set any fast laps, and his best got him into sixth place.

Timo Glock finally got out of the pits, but the rain started falling just then, and he pits once again. He manages an installation lap minutes later, but pits straight after. Fairuz Fauzy then went out in the Lotus, but without power steering, and Mike Gascoyne explains this is becasue of a supplier issue. He still set a lap time of 1:37.494, after 18 laps, in the wet conditions. The other drivers were inable to get near Vettel’s lap time, because of the wet conditions. Rubens Barrichello stopped out on the back straight, at 15:45. The session resumed with 12 minutes to go, and the usual scramble for fastest laps started. Times were improving, with most times in the 1.23’s and 1.24’s, but nobody beat Vettel’s time.

Wet conditions in the afternoon

Wet conditions in the afternoon

So Vettel was top, followed by Hamilton, Massa, Buemi, de la Rosa, Schumacher, Sutil, Di Resta, Petrov, Barrichello, Fauzy and Glock. Timo only managed 10 laps across the entire day. On the other hand, Lotus fared much better, with Fauzy managing 76 laps, but mostly in the wet, so he was 9.2 seconds off the fastest lap.

Times from today:

Driver Team Car Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1. S. Vettel Red Bull RB6 1.22.593 99
2. L. Hamilton McLaren MP4-25 1.23.017 +0.424 72
3. F. Massa Ferrari F10 1.23.204 +0.674 72
4. S. Buemi Toro Rosso STR5 1.23.322 +0.729 79
5. P. de la Rosa Sauber C29 1.23.367 +0.774 76
6. M. Schumacher Mercedes W01 1.23.803 +1.210 111
7. A. Sutil Force India VJM03 1.24.272 +1.679 28
8.9.

10.

11.

12.

P. di Resta

V. Petrov

R. Barrichello

F. Fauzy

T. Glock

Force India

Renault

Williams

Lotus

Virgin

VJM03

R30

FW32

T127

VR-01

1.25.088

1.26.237

1.27.320

1.31.848

1.32.417

+2.495

+3.644

+4.727

+9.255

+9.824

74

55

109

76

10

Pictures from the test:

What we can learn from Jerez test 1

The first of 2 Jerez test sessions ended last Saturday, with the heavy rain having hugely affected the running for all the teams. Until the second test begins on Wednesday, there are many things we can learn from last week.

First of all, some teams who struggled in 2009 have certainly learned from their mistakes and improved hugely. Ferrari and Sauber are the two teams which spring to mind here. We all remember the fact that Alonso and Massa completely dominated the top of the timesheets in Valencia a few weeks ago. While we haven’t seen fastest laps from the team this time around, it must be noted that both drivers appeared to be running very heavy fuel load setups. The fact that they finished 4th and 7th (twice each) with this fuel load shows that they have serious pace this year. The news gets even better for the Scuderia, as we must remember that wet weather makes it even harder on a heavy fuel load, which adds to their achievements so far this year.

More consistent running from Ferrati in this test session

More consistent running from Ferrati in this test session

Sauber have topped only one session so far, but it is believed that they are running medium to heavy fuel setups as well. Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi have so far been impressive in all but one of the test days last week, when they were caught out by the wet weather. However, it must be noted that Kobayashi’s fastest lap on Tuesday was set on a low-fuel run.

Another team that I haven’t mentioned yet is Force India. The team that got so close to points on so many occasions, to the team that finally scored its maiden podium after Fisi’s heroics, to a team that is now showing very promising pace before the season even starts. It’s much different to last year, when the VJM02 was only fast on low-downforce circuits. Jerez requires a very good medium-high downforce setup, and the team have so far finshed 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th respectively. Adrian Sutil appears to be getting more out of the car than Liuzzi, but we’re not sure what fuel loads they were running. However, it is believed that they were using a medium fuel load for most of the time. One problem is, there seems to be a huge loss in performance when full fuel is applied. Sutil, on one occasion, had his lap times increased by 4 seconds per lap, after adding a 100kg (half race) fuel load. The team and Sutil have said that 5th place in the constructors championship is a realistic ambition this year, and I believe them. Hopefully, we won’t see a huge variant in performance in the car according to the circuit this year.

Sutil and Force India are aiming for 5th in the championship this year

Sutil and Force India are aiming for 5th in the championship this year

McLaren have been top of the timesheets once, when Lewis Hamilton set a low-fuel fastest lap of 1.19.583 (fastest of the 4 days) in the dying minutes of the final day. He was believed to be carrying 5 laps of fuel at the time. When he was filled up with fuel, he was languishing at the bottom of the timesheets most of the day. For example, at the start of a 25-lap stint, he was lapping in the 1.25’s. However, by the end of the stint, he was down to 1.23. It must be noted that this time was done on tyres that were 30 laps old, and in very cold temperatures, 6 degrees. (Hopefully) There will be no Grand Prix that will ever get near those sort of temperatures. We can therefore conclude that Lewis has solid pace in this year’s MP4-25. But what about Jenson? Unfortunately, no conclusions can be made about him, because of the conditions around his 2 days testing. On the first day, his fastest lap was 4 seconds off the pace, but that was a day of heavy rain, and he was running a heavy fuel load, so we can excuse him for that. The next day, he was much quicker, only .6 seconds off the fastest lap of the day. Even if it’s a bit inconclusive, I’d say that Jenson is doing fine in the car as well.

Jenson Button in the McLaren

Jenson Button in the McLaren

It’s been widely predicted that Mercedes will be on the pace this year. With the German line-up of Schumacher and Rosberg, it’s not hard to see why people are saying that. However, their pace isn’t convincing me yet. Sure, Rosberg topped the timesheets last Wednesday, but that was rain-soaked, and I don’t think he was running much fuel that day either. Since then, he and Schumacher have finished 6th, 7th and 5th respectively. Unfortunately, I can’t analyse their fuel loads, as I’m not sure on their figures. All I know is that they were not running very heavy fuel loads. Many people are saying that Schumacher set his fastest laps in the morning, when the track wasn’t rubbered in much, and this shows he has pace. I agree with this, but you have to note that it seemed like Schumacher was pushing like hell to get those times out. Spectators have noted that he was pushing the car too far slightly, which may add a pinch of salt. Even if I’m skeptical, Mercedes will definitely be in the top half  of the grid this year.

Michael Schumacher pushing it to the limit

Michael Schumacher pushing it to the limit

With teams like Renault and Williams, we can’t be sure. Both teams have all-new driver line-ups, so it may take time for them to get used to the cars, Petrov amd Hulkenberg especially. Unfortunately for Renault, Kubica’s fastest lap on Saturday was at the end of a 5-lap stint. The team were believed to have been running 6-lap stints all day long. The fact that they ended up 4th shows they don’t have the raw power to be at the top this year. Now, last December, the team said they wanted to be in contention for world championships by 2011, which is a bit of an ambitious target. However, if anyone will bring them up, it’ll be Kubica, so let’s see what happens there. Williams, on the other hand, are very hard to read this year. 10-lap stints are what Barrichello was doing all day, but we don’t know what Hulkenberg was running. The fact that he finished 3rd and 4th on the first 2 days is encouraging, though. Their engine, the Cosworth CA2010, seems to be good, with the speed traps showing good speed so far.

The team that finished on a high in Abu Dhabi knew they had to capitalise on their progress this year. Red Bull missed the first test in Valencia, and kept developing until Jerez. When their car was unveiled and first run, we saw very little pace. Mark Webber only finished 9th on both occasions, while Vettel was 5th and 6th. On the front, it would appear that they were struggling for pace. The good news is that Vettel’s fastest laps were set during a (at least) 20-lap stint. We’re not sure about Webber’s loads, but it seems he was running very heavy as well. Sebastian Vettel has spoke about these fuel loads already, saying:

“When you look at the lap times, you sometimes think it’s easy to say who is running on a lot of fuel or low fuel, but then people are playing around, so you might be three seconds off but still be quick when you are running with a full tank and others are not. It’s all a bit irritating – and very challenging. You might be seconds off the pace on Friday, but are really the fastest and you won’t know it until Saturday when you go to qualifying. We are heading into exciting times.”

Reliability has struck already, with a fuel pump problem sidelining them for 3 hours on Saturday, so they will need to control this before it hits hard, like in Valencia last year.

Three of the new teams, Campos, Lotus and USF1, have not even released their cars yet, so our attention is focused on Virgin. They were first out of the blocks with their VR-01, which was developed using only Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Their testing in Jerez, however, could be described as a disaster. On the first day, Timo Glock got only 5 laps in, after the heavy rain caught them out. Then, things got even worse on Thursday, when a front wing failure stopped Glock’s running after only 11 laps, which was on a heavy fuel load. His fastest lap was 10 seconds off Kobayashi’s that day. The team worked into the next day trying to repair the cause of the problem, the front wing mounting. When they finally got the car out on Friday, Lucas di Grassi could only set 8 laps, all in the wet, because of unspecified reasons. Since these 8 laps were in the wet, he was 17 seconds off the pace that day. Into Saturday, the car was much better, with di Grassi managing 63 laps all day. They were running a very heavy fuel load, so it was expected that he only ended up 8th at the end of the day, 2.5 seconds behind the leaders. If their initial pace was their actual performance, then they would count themselves lucky that the 107% rule was dropped years ago. However, I think that the Virgin has promise (no jokes!) and could be one of the better new teams this year.

Finally, we have Toro Rosso. We knew they would struggle last year, when Vettel left, and they couldn’t use the year-before Red Bull because of the rule changes. A poor 2009 was expected. However, now that they are producing their own car, we will soon be expecting more from them. Sebastien Buemi and Jamie Alguersuari have been retained for 2010, so it will be expected that these new (ish) drivers will improve over the season. This means that a lot of focus will be on their car. The STR5 has been very surprising so far, in that, across the 4 days, they have finished on top, twice 2 times, and 10th. The final day slump was believed to be heavy fuel running and aerodynamic comparisons, so we can now focus on the other 3 days. On the first day, Buemi was second, only 1 tenth behind Nico Rosberg. This was a rain-soaked day, but it still shows pace in the car. On Thursday, he was again second, this time only 0.07 behind Kamui Kobayashi. To make things better, Kobayashi’s fastest lap was a low-fuel run, and the weather soon turned dry over the day, so the STR5 was showing more and more signs of pace. On Friday, Jaime Alguersuari got in one of the fastest laps of the entire 4-day test, a 1.19.919, which was set in the morning. Even though rain fell soon after, I don’t think many drivers would have beaten his time. So, the first signs are very encouraging for Toro Rosso, but let’s be careful. We don’t know about what fuel they were running on those 3 days. However, I think it’s safe to say that they will improve upon last year.

It’s not right to make full assumptions about all the teams before the testing finishes, so now let’s look forward to the second test in Jerez. Hopefully the predicted floods and heavy rain will refrain this time.

Driver line-up for second Jerez test announced

The second Jerez F1 test takes place this week, on Wednesday until Saturday. As I said yesterday, there are already fears of heavy rain and floods for that test.

Until then, the full driver line-up has been announced for the 4-day test. This is as follows:

Team          Feb 17           Feb 18            Feb 19        Feb 20

Sauber        de la Rosa       de la Rosa        Kobayashi     Kobayashi
Ferrari       Massa            Massa             Alonso        Alonso
Force India   di Resta/Liuzzi  Liuzzi            Sutil         Sutil
Lotus         Fauzy            Kovalainen        Kovalainen    Trulli
McLaren       Hamilton         Hamilton          Button        Button
Mercedes GP   Schumacher       Rosberg           Schumacher    Rosberg
Red Bull      Vettel           Vettel            Webber        Webber
Renault       Petrov           Petrov            Kubica        Kubica
Toro Rosso    Buemi            Buemi             Alguersuari   Alguersuari
Virgin        di Grassi        di Grassi/Glock   Glock         TBA
Williams      Barrichello      Barrichello       Hulkenberg    Hulkenberg

This list may change if  driver drops out for some reason.

This test will be the first time that we will see the Lotus T127 in action, after its release last week.

Flood risk for Jerez next week

Testing at Jerez last week

Testing at Jerez last week

As if the teams weren’t disadvantaged enough by the rain that hampered last week’s testing at Jerez, there is news that even worse weather is forecast for the rest of this week.

The second Jerez test begins on Wednesday, and ends on Saturday. Showers are forecast for Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with very heavy rain predicted for Thursday. It is understood that the rain will probably be much heavier than last week.

The teams were looking at the possiblity of relocating to Portimao or Barcelona, but had to drop the idea because of “logistical challenges” that were involved in the move.

Rain like this is a huge problem for the teams, especially the new ones. Because of the testing ban, this is effectively the only time where drivers can get used to their new cars. The rookie drivers, like di Grassi, Petrov, and Hulkenberg need as much dry testing as they need, and heavy rain like we saw last week is a large disadvantage to them. The new teams, Lotus, USF1, Campos and Virgin, are also affected, because their cars now have much less time to be tested and worked on.

If you remember last year’s testing, where very heavy rain hampered the test at Portimao, the teams did not return this year. It would be safe to say that the teams will not return to Jerez next year.

13th February: Testing results – Hamilton just on top

Lewis Hamilton set multiple late laps-believed to be a low-fuel run- to finish the final day in Jerez on top.

The Briton set a lap time of 1.19.583, the fastest lap of the entire 4-day test at Jerez. However, this day of testing was not without another set of weather difficulties.

When the track opened at 8:00 this morning, the track was still fully wet from yesterday’s rain, and had plenty of standing water. Air temperature was a very low 7 degrees Celcius. Light rain was still falling at this point. While intermidiate tyres were being used, times were still about 9 to 10 seconds slower than the fastest of the entire test.

By around 9:00 the track was becoming more greasy than wet, as the drivers got used to the conditions. The first red flag of the day was out at 9:02, as Sebastian Vettel stopped out on track, after a run of 22 laps. The track continued to dry as the session restarted and continued, and by 10:30 dry patches were appearing around the circuit. There was a lull in action, as the teams pondered going onto slicks. Vettel’s tyres appeared very bald at this point.

An engineer tests the track as the circuit slowly dries out

An engineer tests the track as the circuit slowly dries out

Felipe Massa was the first to go onto slicks, and set a time of 1.24.022 at 11:00. This prompted everyone else to make the change, and the times started to fall. Track conditions were rapidly improving now. Within 15 minutes, Rubens Barrichello had slashed the fastest lap to 1.22.319.  Michael Schumacher went out on track at 12:35 and set a time of 1.20.971 within 5 minutes. However, the German’s car slowed to a halt 10 minutes after this, bringing out the red flags.

While Schumacher's car was fixed, the team tested their new electronic lollipop

While Schumacher's car was fixed, the team tested their new electronic lollipop

The track reopened at 13:10, with Lucas di Grassi finally getting out on track in the Virgin. He had made an appearance earlier, but only set 12 laps. But, he was well off the pace, with a fastest lap of 1.25.683 at 14:00, when everyone else was lapping in the 1.22’s and 1.23’s. He improved slowly, however, and was down to 1.22.912 by3:15. He set more than 50 laps across the day.

The real pace was being shown by Felipe Massa, who had been going on marathon runs all day long. More than 160 laps (500km!) over the afternoon showed how heavy he was running, and his fastest lap was 1.21.485. It is obvious that he was racing most of the day with a race fuel load. He did stop out on track in the morning, but it didn’t affect his running that much.

Felipe Massa after stopping out on track

Felipe Massa after stopping out on track

For the last half an hour, the focus was on low-fuel runs rather than race loads. Sutil, Kubica, Massa, Hamilton and Vettel all broke their personal records of today’s test. The fastest lap of the day was set by Hamilton, a 1.19.583, 5 minutes before the session ended.

Adrian Sutil impressed all day long. Like Massa, he seemed to be running heavier than the others, but still described the car as “nice to drive” and “pleasant”. Today he was working on brake and race set up. He also said that he is thrilled with the performance of the VJM03 and has never felt so confident going into a season before.

There will be a few days for the teams to analyse the data from this test, before testing resumes here in Jerez on the 17th. Until then, I’ll write up an analysis of the last few days.

Times from today:

Driver Team Car Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1. L. Hamilton McLaren MP4-25 1.19.583 113
2. A. Sutil Force India VJM03 1.20.180 +0.597 84
3. R. Barrichello Williams FW32 1.20.341 +0.758 90
4. R. Kubica Renault R30 1.20.358 +0.775 85
5. M. Schumacher Mercedes W01 1.20.613 +1.030 84
6. S. Vettel Red Bull RB6 1.21.203 +1.620 90
7. F. Massa Ferrari F10 1.21.485 +1.902 160
8.

9.

10.

P. de la Rosa

L. di Grassi

J. Alguersuari

Sauber

Virgin

Toro Rosso

C29

VR-01

STR5

1.22.134

1.22.912

1.24.072

+2.551

+3.329

+4.489

105

63

98

Pictures from the test:

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