Daily Archives: February 1, 2011

Vettel leads first test of 2011 in Valencia

Sebastian Vettel led the first day of testing in Valencia

Sebastian Vettel led the first day of testing in Valencia

Sebastian Vettel led the first test session of the 2011 season in his new RB7 car.

He was just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, driving the Force India, with Gary Paffett in the McLaren half a second behind.

A 1.13.769 was the best out of 93 laps for Vettel, with Hulkenberg 0.17 seconds off. Paul di Resta only did 28 laps, but was 4th with a 1.17.461.

Fernando Alonso stopped out on track in the last few minutes of the session, but was still 5th fastest, having set 98 laps today. Kamui Kobayashi was 1.8 seconds off Vettel in 6th, Jerome D’Ambrosio was 7th for Virgin.

Vitaly Petrov was 8th, while Michael Schumacher had a hydraulic problem, and could only manage 16 laps. Jaime Alguersuari was 10th, Rubens Barrichello 11th, and Narain Karthikeyan 12th for HRT.

Nico Rosberg shared the Mercedes Wo2 with Schumacher, but was 6 seconds off the pace with only 9 laps on the board. He also suffered hydraulic problems, which stopped him from being able to change gear.

Despite their problems, Schumacher was still upbeat for the season:

"Interesting but short. Obviously we had expected to do a bit more laps 
today but nevertheless it’s always exciting after a long winter break to get 
back into the car and drive.

It’s a beautiful car, from the look. And inside we had little running, 
obviously, but the feeling is positive. Tomorrow we’ll have a proper working 
day and hopefully proper running.

I’m very optimistic about this, absolutely. Nothing has changed from what we 
have learned through the winter from the couple of laps we have been doing 
today. Not being able to analyse what the others are doing, knowing fuel 
levels. I’m not worried in any way that we cannot fulfil our targets and 
that’s a minimum of podiums and hopefully victories."

Note: Force India, McLaren, HRT and Virgin all completed this test in their 2010 cars.

Times from today’s testing:

Pos Driver            Car                 Time       Gap    Laps
 1.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull              1.13.769            93
 2.  Nico Hulkenberg     Force India           1.13.938s   0.169s  71
 3.  Gary Paffett        McLaren-Mercedes      1.14.292s   0.523s  91
 4.  Paul di Resta       Force India           1.14.461s   0.692s  28
 5.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1.14.553s   0.784s  97
 6.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber                1.15.621s   1.852s  68
 7.  Jerome D'Ambrosio   Virgin                1.16.003s   2.234s  71
 8.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               1.16.351s   2.582s  28
 9.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1.16.450s   2.681s  15
10.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso            1.17.214s   3.445s  19
11.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams              1.17.335s   3.566s  77
12.  Narain Karthikeyan  HRT                   1.18.020s   4.251s  45
13.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1.19.930s   6.161s  9

Mercedes launch W02

The Mercedes W02

The Mercedes W02

Mercedes were one of the four teams to reveal their 2011 cars today, with the Brackley-based squad pulling the covers off the W02.

Seeing as development had begun on this car back in July last year, expectations are huge for the all-German line-up. The front of the car is home to several changes, such as a very odd-looking nosecone, which becomes very wide and flat at the front. The angle of the bridges on the side of the nose are also very different.

The front wing has been heavily revised, and the sidepods now contain two smaller bargeboards instead of one. A pull-rod suspension system has been adapted to the rear of the car. Also, the roll bar appears to very unusually far back, well behind the overhead air intake.


Williams reveal FW33 in interim livery

The Williams FW33 in interim livery

The Williams FW33 in interim livery

Williams skipped the media release of their new car, and went straight to the track instead, to show off their Fw33 car.

Driven by Rubens Barrichello today, the engine cover section has been revised, the sidepods have been changed, and a very high nosecone has been adopted.

The car will remain in its traditional navy testing livery until the first race in Bahrain.

Red Bull RB7 released

The new Red Bull RB7

The new Red Bull RB7

Red Bull were one of the four teams to reveal their new 2011 car in Valencia today.

The RB7 features a heavily revised rear end, and a very interesting shark-fin concept, where the fin is cut off abruptly, leading to an addition on the middle of the rear wing.

Red Bull RB7's shark fin and rear wing

Red Bull RB7's shark fin and rear wing

The front wing has a very high-angled third flap, and the back of the car sports a slightly revised suspension system.

The livery is the same, apart from an extra bit of red, both on the car and on the driver overalls.

2010 World Champion Sebastian Vettel took the RB7 out for its first run today, and ended the first test on top of the timesheets. More on this later.

Toro Rosso STR6 launched

The Toro Rosso STR6

The Toro Rosso STR6

The Toro Rosso team are the latest to show off their 2011 car. The STR6 was brought to the Valencia pit lane this morning, and has been running on track since, as the testing season begins.

The team will be using a Ferrari KERS system, the same as Sauber. Unfortunately, apart from the loss of the shark fin engine cover, there appears to be little to no changes to the outside of the car, and the livery is the same as last year.