Tag Archives: Testing

Heidfeld leads Jerez Day 3

Nick Heidfeld led Day 3 in Jerez

Nick Heidfeld led Day 3 in Jerez

Nick Heidfeld made the best possible application for the empty Renault seat, by leading the third day of testing in Jerez.

Fernando Alonso had led the timesheets for most of the day, but with an hour to go Heidfeld 1.20.361 lap put him on top. Michael Schumacher concentrated on long runs, and was 3rd.

Lewis Hamilton only completed 36 laps, but was still quick enough to go 4th. Kamui Kobayashi was 5th, despite causing two red flags after stopping out on track twice. Sebastian Vettel was 6th.

Sebastien Buemi caused another red flag when he Curva Angel Nieto, and could only manage 7th. Heikki Kovalainen was 8th, and Rubens Barrichello lost a lot of time with a KERS problem, demoting him to 9th.

Paul di Resta spun at the same spot as Buemi, and was 10th, while Jerome D’Ambrosio was 11th and 2.5 seconds off the Force India.

Heidfeld said he “couldn’t have done any better” with his driving today, but was still unsure would he get the drive with Renault this year. Adrian Sutil, who handed over his Force India to Di Resta today, complained about the durability of the super-soft Pirelli tyre:

"It’s a good tyre for one lap.

Sometimes you probably lose a little bit in the last sector, already, so you have a 
very good first and second sector, the last one drops away, but it’s still a lap 
time improvement.

It will be interesting how it lasts during a race distance, they’re going to be 
really, really critical.

The medium (tyre) we have is different. It’s very hard, quite a lot harder, and it 
doesn’t last longer, for some reason.

So it’s just very slow in the first few laps and the degradation starts very early, 
still, even with the hard compound. I was not so confident on that tyre and not so 
happy. it’s just the difference you have between the tyres. It’s pretty big.”

Heikki Kovalainen, meanwhile, was pleased with the progress of the Lotus car:

“The whole concept is now a modern Formula 1 car. It’s much more like a Formula 1 
car should be.

The rear end is very good. The gearbox and the engine feels good, the gear-changes 
and generally the rear end is working really well.

And the chassis feels like a proper Formula 1 car. It’s much, much lighter. This 
time last year we were overweight, we could not take any weight out of the car. 
Now we have ballast in the car – a lot of ballast.

So it’s a huge difference. I don’t know how much the chassis is lighter – I think 
it’s around 20 kilos, something like that.

Of course we still need to improve and find more pace. But it’s very encouraging 
what the team has been able to do in a short period of time. Of course now it gets 
difficult – the last part to catch the guys ahead of us is going to be tricky.”

Times from Jerez Day 3:

Pos  Driver              Car                   Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Nick Heidfeld       Renault               1.20.361             86
 2.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1.20.493   0.132     131
 3.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1.21.054   0.693     114
 4.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1.21.099   0.738     36
 5.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        1.21.242   0.881     84
 6.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1.21.574   1.213     98
 7.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.21.681   1.320     92
 8.  Heikki Kovalainen   Lotus-Renault         1.21.711   1.350     61
 9.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth     1.22.227   1.866     99
10.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1.22.945   2.584     64
11.  Jerome D'Ambrosio   Virgin-Cosworth       1.25.471   5.110     72

Jerez Day 2: Schumacher heads the field

Michael Schumacher was on top in Jerez

Michael Schumacher was on top in Jerez

Michael Schumacher led the way in the second day of testing today in Jerez.

His fastest lap was made more impressive by the fact that it was not a low fuel run – he had more than 10 laps of fuel on board at the time. Felipe Massa continued his good pace in Jerez, several hundreths off the Mercedes.

Sergio Perez examines his wrecked Sauber

Sergio Perez examines his wrecked Sauber

Jenson Button got his first taste of the McLaren MP4-26, and was 3rd. He later revealed that he was forced to abort his flying laps on super-soft tyres after a red flag, and never used the KERS and adjustable rear wing systems.

Jaime Alguersuari was the first of several drivers to cause red flags, the Spaniard stopping out on track in the morning. Nevertheless., he was 5th, ahead of Mark Webber, who concentrated on heavy-fuel runs, and Adrian Sutil.

Sergio Perez crashed out after only 56 laps, and ended his day prematurely in 7th, ahead of Timo Glock. Vitaly Petrov was 9th, but struggled with rear brake locking, and spun out during the day, causing another red flag.

Pastor Maldonado was the second driver to crash, but much more seriously than Perez. Maldonado crashed his Williams at Turn 4, damaging both the front and rear of the car. His team was also forced to take apart and analyse his KERS unit, after it displayed warning signs in the morning.

Jarno Trulli was last, as his day was cut short by mechanical problems.

Sutil struggled all day, and blamed high degradation on the medium compound Pirelli tyre:

"The medium tyre we have here is different to before, and I was not so confident on
that, not so happy.

The tyre is very hard, quite a lot harder than what we had before. But it doesn't last
longer for some reason.

It's very slow in the first few laps, then the degradation starts very early still.
Even after five to six laps the degradation starts again, and I was expecting much
more.

[Pirelli] probably go a different way [to Bridgestone], which is good for the sport.
It's a big challenge to drive on the limit with these tyres.

They are very oversteery, very low grip, so it is very easy to make mistakes. The
difference you have between the compounds is very big, but in general I like them."

Times from Jerez Day 2:

Pos  Driver              Car                   Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1.20.352             112
 2.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1.20.413   0.061     116
 3.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1.21.009   0.657     69
 4.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.21.214   0.862     72
 5.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1.21.613   1.261     113
 6.  Adrian Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  1.21.780   1.428     73
 7.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1.21.857   1.505     56
 8.  Timo Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       1.22.208   1.856     57
 9.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               1.22.493   2.141     65
10.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth     1.22.591   2.239     38
11.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus-Renault         1.23.216   2.864     40

 

Jerez Day 1: Massa heads the field

Massa headed today's Jerez session

Massa headed today's Jerez session

As the Formula 1 paddock rolls into Jerez for the next round of testing, Felipe Massa leads the timesheets after day 1.

He set his fast times early, and stayed on top for most of the day. Sergio Perez was over 7 tenths behind in the Ferrari-powered Sauber, while Mark Webber was third.

Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock and Adrian Sutil were all trying out their 2011 cars for the first time, while HRT did not attend this test, instead moving to Monza for a few filming days with Pirelli.

Daniel Ricciardo only drove in the morning, but was still 4th. Hamilton was happy with the improvements of his MP4-26 in 5th, and Jaime Alguersuari was 6th, sharing his seat with Ricciardo.

Adrian Sutil had only 28 laps today, while Vitaly Petrov and Nico Rosberg were 8th and 9th. Jarno Trulli was 10th and Timo Glock 11th. Pastor Maldonado was last, stuck in the pits because of a rear wing problem, and only did 14 laps.

Three red flags disrupted today’s session. Sergio Perez stopped out on track in the morning, while Rosberg stopped later on. Vitaly Petrov later spun his Renault into the gravel.

Pirelli brought all 4 tyre compounds to this test, and drivers seem to be happy with the new rubber so far.

Hamilton drove his car for the first time, and appears impressed:

“How it felt today was definitely a step forward.

Whether that’s aero or mechanical, I haven’t yet identified exactly which part it is but 
it’s a good thing that it feels good initially.

My initial response was that it felt quite comfortable to drive and there’s certain areas 
I noticed particularly that were quite a good improvement on last year.

We didn’t do that many runs today, we had quite a lot of programmes to get through. So I 
was really doing what a test driver would do: just go out and do this test, that test. We 
did that all day generally.

The car feels good, it’s positive. My initial thought was it’s a good step better than 
last year so I was quite happy with it.”

Times from Jerez Day 1:

Pos  Driver             Car                   Time       Gap
 1.  Felipe Massa       Ferrari               1.20.709
 2.  Sergio Perez       Sauber-Ferrari        1.21.483   0.774
 3.  Mark Webber        Red Bull-Renault      1.21.522   0.813
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.21.755   1.046
 5.  Lewis Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      1.21.914   1.205
 6.  Jaime Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.22.689   1.980
 7.  Adrian Sutil       Force India-Mercedes  1.23.472   2.763
 8.  Vitaly Petrov      Renault               1.23.504   2.795
 9.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1.23.963   3.254
10.  Jarno Trulli       Lotus-Renault         1.24.458   3.749
11.  Timo Glock         Virgin-Cosworth       1.25.086   4.377
12.  Pastor Maldonado   Williams-Cosworth     1.34.968   14.259

Kubica leads third day of testing in Valencia

Robert Kubica headed the final test in Valencia

Robert Kubica headed the final test in Valencia

Robert Kubica headed up the final day of testing in Valencia today. His fastest lap got him on top of the timesheets, despite spending only the second half of the session on track.

Adrian Sutil was 5 hundreths behind in the Force India, having completed 117 laps, albeit in the 2010 car. Button, in 3rd and also in his 2010 car, struggled in the cold temperatures, and was half a second off Kubica.

Massa's Ferrari F150 catches fire

Massa's Ferrari F150 catches fire

After a master cylinder failure yesterday, 4th place and impressive constant pace was good for Mark Webber. Felipe Massa was 5th, but had a spectacular incident after the hour mark.

His Ferrari ran wide, and when it rejoined, a small fire started at the back of the car. He continued on for a few more corners, before he spun on his own oil, and stopped in the middle of the track. The red flag was thrown while the car and oil were cleared.

Ferrari later explained the incident:

"As he was coming to the end of his first run of laps, the Brazilian had to 
park at the side of the track, with an oil leak caused by a broken clamp.

Unfortunately the lubricant ended up on the exhausts which led to a small 
fire breaking out and that caused some damage to the car.

The mechanics immediately set to work on repairing the damage, but it is 
unlikely that the car will be back on track much before three in the 
afternoon."
Massa soon spun the car on its own oil

Massa soon spun the car on its own oil

Virgin did mostly 12-lap runs with Timo Glock in the VR-01 for 114 laps, and were rewarded with 6th place. Pastor Maldonado focused on longer stints, testing the team’s KERS system, and was 7th. Sergio Perez stopped after 9 laps to get a gearbox change, but still got 104 laps on the board.

Michael Schumacher failed to keep up with the frontrunners, and ended the day 9th. Sebastien Buemi and Narain Karthikeyan did mostly 5-lap runs, and were 10th and 11th, Narain being 1.7 seconds off the Toro Rosso.

Jarno Trulli had a torrid day, waiting the entire day for a steering part to be sent back to the team from England. It never arrived, and he spent 38 laps doing installation laps and aero checks, never getting a lap time in.

Jenson Button was happy with the new Pirelli tyres:

"I like the feeling of the tyre.

It has a stable rear when you enter high-speed corners, you have a stable 
rear when you brake for low-speed corners, and that is something that I 
really do need with the car. I am happy with that step.

There are areas where it is weaker than previous tyres, but that is the 
way it is built. You just change the balance of the car to suit that.

There will be degradation on the soft tyre and you do have to look after 
it, but there always has to be a balance. You want to be quick over one 
lap and you want to be quick over a long run, so there is always a bit of 
a compromise. It is whether you can get the compromise right or not."

Times from Day 3 in Valencia:

Pos Driver            Team                Time    Gap    Laps
 1. Robert Kubica        Renault               1.13.144           95
 2. Adrian Sutil         Force India Mercedes  1.13.201  0.057  117
 3. Jenson Button        McLaren Mercedes      1.13.553  0.409  105
 4. Mark Webber          Red Bull Renault      1.13.936  0.792  105
 5. Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1.14.017  0.873   80
 6. Timo Glock           Virgin Cosworth       1.14.207  1.063  114
 7. Pastor Maldonado     Williams Cosworth     1.14.299  1.155  101
 8. Sergio Perez         Sauber Ferrari        1.14.469  1.325  104
 9. Michael Schumacher   Mercedes              1.14.537  1.393  110
10. Sebastien Buemi      Toro Rosso Ferrari    1.14.801  1.657   73
11. Narain Karthikeyan   HRT Cosworth          1.16.535  3.391   63
12. Jarno Trulli         Lotus Renault         N/A               38

Valencia testing day 2: Alonso leads

Fernando Alonso led Day 2 of testing in Valencia

Fernando Alonso led Day 2 of testing in Valencia

Fernando Alonso led the second day of testing in Valencia, as Lotus ran their TL11 for the first time.

The session was stopped twice – once for Paul di Resta spinning early on, and the second for when Rubens Barrichello stopped out on track with an electrical problem.

Sebastien Buemi stopped near the pit lane with 15 minutes to go, and Lotus only got 15 laps in with Heikki Kovalainen, after a power steering issue. The team have said that it is a mechanical failure, and the part will have to be sent back to England for repairs.

Both Red Bull and Williams shared their cars between their drivers, though Mark Webber only got 40 minutes of driving in today.

Lewis Hamilton took distinct interest in the “massive degradation” of the Pirelli tyres, hoping that they will spice up the stretegies:

It was quite easy to get into but they’re not easy to drive. They (the tyres)
fall off quite quick and over a long run it’s interesting.

Obviously last year we had one pit stop and now the degradation is massive 
on these tyres. It might be for some people they have to do two or three pit 
stops, for example.

I didn’t actually like doing one pit stop last year, I think it wasn’t as 
exciting as it has been in the past when we did two pit stops or three pit 
stops.

So I’m hoping that we have to do a more this year, it adds a little bit 
more excitement to it.

Despite his troubles, Heikki Kovalainen was still happy with his first impressions of the TL11:

"I'm very positive. The feeling and the sensation from the car was totally 
different compared to last year.

It has a lot more potential than last year's car; it's just difficult to say 
how quick it is yet because we didn't give it a single lap to set a time. It 
(today's test) was just to check the installations. Tomorrow we will get a 
better idea."

Times from Day 2:

Pos  Driver       Team                Time             Laps
 1.  Alonso         Ferrari                1.13.307           108
 2.  Vettel         Red Bull Renault       1.13.614  0.307    43
 3.  Di Resta       Force India Mercedes   1.13.844  0.537   111 
 4.  Hamilton       McLaren Mercedes       1.14.353  1.046    83 
 5.  Kubica         Renault                1.14.412  1.105   104
 6.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1.14.645  1.338    69
 7.  Glock          Virgin Cosworth        1.15.408  2.101    34 
 8.  Barrichello    Williams Cosworth      1.16.023  2.716    51
 9.  Perez          Sauber Ferrari         1.16.198  2.891    42
10.  Maldonado      Williams Cosworth      1.16.266  2.959    29
11.  Buemi          Toro Rosso Ferrari     1.16.359  3.052    46
12.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso Ferrari     1.16.474  3.167    64
13.  Webber         Red Bull Renault       1.17.365  4.058    17
14.  Karthikeyan    HRT Cosworth           1.17.769  1.165    80 
15.  Kovalainen     Lotus Renault          1.20.649  7.342    15

Ferrari top both days of Pirelli tests

Two days of testing on the 2011 Pirelli tyres concluded a few days ago, with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso each topping one day each. While the tyres were slower than this year’s Bridgetones, most of the paddock appear to be happy with the new rubber.

Day 1

Sebastian Vettel suffered a tyre failure in the evening

Sebastian Vettel suffered a tyre failure in the evening

Only one car ran from each team on these two days. Neither Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Buttom took any part, as Gary Paffett was driving the McLaren. Adrian Sutil, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Paul di Resta all shared the Force India.

On the first day, Felipe Massa was fastest with a 1.40.170, two seconds off Daniel Ricciardo’s time during the young driver test. Sebastian Vettel was 2nd, 4 tenths off the Ferrari. Gary Paffett was 3rd, Kamui Kobayashi 4th, Robert Kubica 5th, and Rubens Barrichello 6th.

Paul di Resta was 7th, but had only run during the second half of the session. Adrian Sutil initially had the car, but an exhaust problem forced him into the pits. He was only 10th.

Nico Rosberg and Jaime Alguersuari were 8th and 9th. Timo Glock was 10th, Heikki Kovalainen 11th, and Pastor Maldonado last, 1.1 seconds behind the Lotus.

Vettel’s day was ended abruptly, after a puncture in the evening. Pirelli have already suffered cuts to their rear tyres, but believe that debris caused the failure.

Times from Day 1:

Driver Car Time
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.170s
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’40.500s
3 Gary Paffett McLaren 1’40.874s
4 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1’40.950s
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’41.032s
6 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1’41.425s
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1’41.615s
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.778s
9 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1’42.019s
10 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’42.859s
11 Timo Glock Virgin 1’44.124s
12 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1’44.686s
13 Pastor Maldonado HRT 1’45.728s

Day 2

Fernando Alonso topped Day 2

Fernando Alonso topped Day 2

Fernando Alonso was quicker on the second day, but was 4 tenths off Massa’s time the day before. Michael Schumacher was 2nd, and Vettel 3rd.

Rubens Barrichello was 4th, Robert Kubica 5th, Gary Paffett 6th, and shared the car with Oliver Turvey, who was 7th. Paul di Resta was 8th, and shared the Force India with Liuzzi, who was 11th.

Kamui Kobayashi and Sebastien Buemi filled the top 10. Sergio Perez was 12th, Jarno Trulli 13th. Pastor Maldonado was 14th, but caused a red flag after a spin. Timo Glock was several hundreths off Maldonado.

Times from Day 2:

Driver Team Best lap
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.529s
2 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’40.685s
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’40.825s
4 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1’41.294s
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’41.614s
6 Gary Paffett McLaren 1’41.622s
7 Oliver Turvey McLaren 1’41.740s
8 Paul di Resta Force India 1’41.869s
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1’42.110s
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1’42.145s
11 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1’42.416s
12 Sergio Perez Sauber 1’42.777s
13 Jarno Trulli Lotus 1’44.521s
14 Pastor Maldonado HRT 1’44.768s
15 Timo Glock Virgin 1’44.783s

Pirelli have declared the test a success, although they now have 11,000 km of data to filter through. Aside from Vettel’s tyre problems, the rubber stood up well, and the switch from Bridgestones to Pirellis shouldn’t be too difficult for the teams.

With this being the final session of 2010, the F1 engines will be switched off until the 1st February 2011, when testing resumes at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Ricciardo dominates both days in young driver test

Daniel Ricciardo was by far the fastest man in the last two days in Abu Dhabi, as he topped the timesheets in both days of the young driver test on Tuesday and Wednesday. He was driving for the Red Bull team, and managed to beat Sebastian Vettel’s pole position lap by an entire second.

Dean Stoneman ran with aerodynamic equipment on his Williams

Dean Stoneman ran with aerodynamic equipment on his Williams

Tuesday

On the first day, Ricciardo was a second faster than Oliver Turvey, who was driving for McLaren. Antonio Felix de Costa, a 19-year-old for Force India, was third.

Esteban Gutierrez, who is Sauber’s test driver, was 4th, ahead of Dean Stoneman (Williams) and Mikhail Aleshin (Renault). Jean Eric Vergne was 7th for Toro Rosso, followed by Paul di Resta, who shared his car with Antonio Felix de Costa across the day.

Sam Bird was 9th for Mercedes, Jerome D’Ambrosio 10th for Virgin, Pastor Maldonado 11th for HRT, and Jules Bianchi was 12th for Ferrari. Rodolfo Gonzalez was 13th in the Lotus car, and 17-year-old Rio Haryanto (Virgin) was last, although he only completed 21 laps, only a quarter of many other drivers’ totals.

Daniel’s time of 1.39.616 was an excellent time, but it must be considered that the track was approximately 1.1 – 1.4 seconds faster than the Grand Prix there last weekend.

Times from Day 1:

Position
Driver Car Best lap Gap
Laps
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1.39.616 83
2 Oliver Turvey McLaren 1.40.725 1.109 85
3 Antonio Felix da Costa Force India 1.41.381 1.765 77
4 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1.41.432 1.816 88
5 Dean Stoneman Williams 1.41.522 1.906 70
6 Mikhail Aleshin Renault 1.42.073 2.457 58
7 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1.42.489 2.873 93
8 Paul di Resta Force India 1.42.736 3.120 28
9 Sam Bird Mercedes 1.42.985 3.369 67
10 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin 1.43.518 3.902 36
11 Pastor Maldonado HRT 1.43.750 4.134 108
12 Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1.43.894 4.278 59
13 Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus 1.44.924 5.308 83
14 Rio Haryanto Virgin 1.49.439 9.823 21

Wednesday

The last ever Bridgestone tyres ever to be used in Formula 1

The last ever Bridgestone tyres ever to be used in Formula 1


 

On Day 2, Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest time again, and this time was a second a lap faster than Vettel’s pole lap on Saturday. Sebastian’s time of 1.39.394 was beaten by Ricciardo, D’Ambrosio and Bird. Like last time though, the track has rubbered in hugely since last weekend.

Jerome D’Ambrosio was 7 tenths behind, followed by Sam Bird and Gary Paffett, who took over from Oliver Turvey in the McLaren.

Jules Bianchi improved to 5th, Sergio Perez got his first taste of the Sauber car he will be driving next year, and took it to 6th place. Paul di Resta was 7th, just ahead of Pastor Maldonado. Jean-Eric Vergne was 9th, but had his day interrupted by an engine problem with his Toro Rosso engine.

Yelmer Burrman shared the Force India with Di Resta, and took 10th position. Davide Valsecchi, driving the Hispania car, was 11th. He shared that car with Josef Kral, who was 13th. Luiz Razia was 12th for Virgin.

The Lotus car was at the back of the timesheets, in the hands of two different drivers, with Rodolfo Gonzalez going much faster than Vladimiar Arabadzhiev.

Wednesday was the last ever day of Formula 1 cars using the Bridgestone tyre. The Japanese company have made over 700,000 racing tyres for F1 in the last 14 years, and fitted the last set to the Lotus cars.

Times from Day 2:

Driver Car Best lap

Gap
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1.38.102 0
Jerome d’Ambrosio Renault 1.38.802 0.700
Sam Bird Mercedes 1.39.220 1.118
Gary Paffett McLaren 1.39.760 1.658
Jules Bianchi Ferrari 1.39.916 1.814
Sergio Perez Sauber 1.40.543 2.441
Paul di Resta Force India 1.40.901 2.799
Pastor Maldonado Williams 1.40.944 2.842
Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1.40.974 2.872
Yelmer Burrman Force India3 1.41.178 3.076
Davide Valsecchi HRT 1.43.013 4.911
Luiz Razia Virgin 1.43.525 5.423
Josef Kral HRT 1.44.143 6.041
Rodolfo Gonzalez Lotus 1.44.312 6.21
Vladimiar Arabadzhiev Lotus 1.45.723 7.621

First pictures of Heidfeld’s test with Pirelli tyres

Yesterday Nick Heidfeld began a 4-day test at the Mugello circuit to test out the Pirelli tyres that they will be using for the 2011 Formula 1 season. He was driving a Toyota TF109, which had been painted all-white, seeing as Toyota don’t seem to own the car any more.

If it wasn’t for a fault with the blog, I would have been the first blog or website to have it up. Here are the first pictures of the test at Mugello:

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Ferrari use “promotional video” to test new modified F10

Fernando Alonso drove the Ferrari F10 at Fiorano on Thursday, to film for a “promotional video”, as well as entertaining guests at the track. However, an amateur video has shown that the F10 was using a modified rear end on the car, with a Red Bull style exhaust system.

As we know, in-season testing is banned this year to reduce costs. However, Ferrari have used the “promotional video” exception (not for the first time) to test their latest upgrade to the F10, which seems to be a copy of Red Bull’s exhaust system, which pushes exhaust gases into the diffuser.

The Red Bull exhaust-driven diffuser, which has since been copied by Ferrari

The Red Bull exhaust-driven diffuser, which has since been copied by Ferrari

While this is quite cheeky from the team, it isn’t specifically against the rules, even if no other team does this. The team even joked about it in their statement: “You have to make the most of any opportunity in this era of the testing ban!” We will have to wait and see if Ferrari’s design makes it to the next race in Valencia.

Here is the amateur footage:

A photo and video review of the testing season

So, as the Barcelona test concluded today, we have learned much about the upcoming season in 2 weeks time. For now, let’s have a look at some of the photos and videos that summarised this year’s testing season.

The Videos

Mclaren owned by Ferrari:

For the last few weeks, many of us have been worrying about the fact that most of the teams have been trying to hide their diffuser from the others. It’s been a hot topic: Will we see another diffuser battle? Mostly, cover sheets and boxes are used to stop other team mechanics stealing designs of the diffusers. But, in Barcelona, Ferrari went one step further (to the delight of the audience) to get the message through to McLaren.

For my childish side… PWNED!

Felipe Massa onboard head-cam:

Remember last year, when the Ferarri F60 was released, and we were treated to the great onboard footage of Massa’s first lap in the car? This year it’s even better, he’s driving in heavy rain conditions this time. Unfortunately the camera is pointing slightly downwards, so visibility isn’t great, but this video is still well worth a watch. Oh, and it’s also available in HD, which is nice :)

Life’s a Beach- Virgin Racing

I’ll get this out of the way, I’m not quite sure why they made this video! Still though, it’s got some nice shots of the Virgin car, as well as Lucas di Grassi’s attempts to sound badass, this time without the glasses.

The Photos

Putting on a brave face!

Putting on a brave face!

Like I’ve said before,there’s plenty of worry around the paddock of another diffuser battle this year. So, while most of the teams covered up the back of their cars and hid them away, Sauber put a smile on our face by making their diffuser more pleasant to look at! This is why I love privateers compared to manufacturers :D

The reconquest begins, apparently...

The reconquest begins, apparently...

Note the flags of Oviedo on the left and right. This picture was taken on one of the first days of testing, when Fernando Alonso made his first appearances for Ferrari. Also, the eagle-eyed F1 fans may notce the two aces of clubs and diamonds, the same that Fernando has printed on the back of his helmet, to symbolise his two championship victories in 2005 and 2006(note ’05 and ’06 written in place of numbers on the cards). Obviously, the Spaniards were out in force to greet their hero, and made their presence known. They seem to be very confident of an Alonso comeback this season, and I’m with them!

Brought back down to earth

Brought back down to earth

Like the last picture, this was taken on one of the first days of Alonso’s test with Ferrari. This time, the Spaniard was forced to stop out on track with a mechanical problem. Fernando seemed very dissapointed to let down his fans afterwards, but this is F1.

Drying out

Drying out

It seems so long ago to me, but the two Jerez tests were blighted by heavy rain.  Teams struggled across the 8 days to find time to do full-length race testing. Here, a Bridgestone technician checks the track to see are conditions improving. In fact, they were.

Spun out

Spun out

Back to the 18th February. It was another disastrous day for the Virgin team, as yesterday Timo Glock only got 10 laps in the wet conditions. This day, it got no better, with the German spinning out ar Turn 2. A mechanical problem was believed to have caused the spin, and the wet track didn’t help. After the front wing incident, it became apparent that CFD didn’t make the Virgin car bulletproof.

The news did get better for the team, but it took some time.

Subtle observation

Subtle observation

More McLaren eagle eyes this time (they never get bored of it do they?). Here, the Red Bull of Mark Webber is being brought back to the pits after a mechanical problem.  The McLaren engineers had been closer, but you can see a Red Bull engineer getting them well back. Damn straight :D

Set sail to Bahrain...

Set sail to Bahrain...

And, quick as a flash, it’s all over. Less than an hour after the chequered flag fell on the last day of testing, the teams were packing up to leave to Bahrain. Without a hint of delay, as I write this (the eve of the final day), most of the teams have already sent their trucks of equipment on their way to Bahrain. It’s kind of strange to see that the F1 world never sleeps.

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