Thursday, March 5, 2015

BARCELONA TEST 2 - MERCEDES POWER

Sitting atop the Barcelona timesheets by a healthy margin, and without having to resort to the super-soft rubber, Mercedes looks invincible. While Williams showed its hand and looks to be best of the rest, Ferrari also looking good, it’s worth noting that 2014 runner-up Red Bull also appear to have something in reserve. Behind them, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Lotus look evenly matched, the Swiss team second to Mercedes in terms of pre-season mileage covered.

Due to the late arrival of its car, Force India remains an unknown, whilst McLaren...Though much is made of lap times, let's not forget that 'to finish first, first you have to finish', and based on the statistical evidence - not to mention Wolff's revelation - Mercedes isn't going to be threatened any time soon.






TEST MILEAGE

Engine Manufacturer Test Mileage 

Engine Manufacturer Miles Kms
Mercedes 4321.5 6954.57
Ferrari 2988 4808.61
Renault 2316.9 3728.65
Honda 512 823.93

Team Test Mileage

Team Miles Kms
Sauber 1576.4 2536.97
Ferrari 1411.6 2271.64
Toro Rosso 1278.5 2057.51
Williams 1110.7 1787.52
Mercedes 1093.4 1759.59
Lotus 1061.6 1708.38
Force India 1055.8 1699.07
Red Bull 1038.4 1671.14
McLaren 512 823.93

Driver Test Mileage

Driver Team Miles Kms
Nasr Sauber 867.8 1396.5
Vettel Ferrari 786.8 1266.16
Rosberg Mercedes 734.7 1182.37
Ericsson Sauber 708.7 1140.47
Hulkenberg Force India 679.8 1093.92
Verstappen Toro Rosso 647.9 1042.72
Sainz Toro Rosso 630.6 1014.79
Raikkonen Ferrari 624.8 1005.48
Massa Williams 593 954.27
Ricciardo Red Bull 578.5 931
Grosjean Lotus 552.5 889.1
Bottas Williams 517.8 833.24
Maldonado Lotus 509.1 819.28
Kvyat Red Bull 459.9 740.14
Button McLaren 399.2 642.39
Perez Force India 376 605.15
Hamilton Mercedes 358.7 577.22
Magnussen McLaren 112.8 181.54

Best Times Barcelona - Both Tests

Date Driver Team Tyres Time Gap
27-Feb Rosberg Mercedes S 0.0009582407 125.776 mph
28-Feb Hamilton Mercedes S 0.0009609028 0.23
01-Mar Bottas Williams SS 0.0009613773 0.271
28-Feb Massa Williams SS 0.0009636806 0.47
28-Feb Raikkonen Ferrari SS 0.0009638426 0.484
01-Mar Vettel Ferrari SS 0.0009660764 0.677
01-Mar Nasr Sauber SS 0.0009724884 1.231
22-Feb Grosjean Lotus SS 0.0009729977 1.275
28-Feb Sainz Toro Rosso SS 0.0009744329 1.399
26-Feb Ericsson Sauber SS 0.0009754167 1.484
21-Feb Maldonado Lotus SS 0.00097625 1.556
01-Mar Verstappen Toro Rosso SS 0.0009783218 1.735
20-Feb Ricciardo Red Bull S 0.0009788657 1.782
28-Feb Hulkenberg** Force India SS 0.0009830903 2.147
22-Feb Kvyat Red Bull S 0.0009831134 2.149
01-Mar Perez** Force India SS 0.0009851042 2.321
28-Feb Magnussen McLaren S 0.0009864005 2.433
01-Mar Button McLaren SS 0.000987581 2.535
20-Feb Alonso McLaren S 0.000994919 3.169
20-Feb Palmer Lotus S 0.0009986111 3.488
21-Feb Wehrlein Force India M 0.0010107986 4.541
19-Feb Wehrlein Mercedes H 0.0010241782 5.697
19-Feb Wolff Williams M 0.0010290046 6.114

TYRES

Pirelli has nominated the tyres that will be used in the Australian, Malaysian, Chinese and Bahrain Grands Prix. In Australia, Pirelli will bring the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft compounds: well-suited to the varied demands and wide range of potential weather conditions experienced at the semi-permanent Albert Park facility in Melbourne.

The Sepang circuit in Malaysia is well known for its abrasive asphalt and high ambient temperatures, making the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium the best choice for the second race of the year. The P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres are nominated for China: the best choice for the comparatively high degradation expected as a result of the demanding track layout, which leads to close racing and plenty of strategy.

P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft will also be used in Bahrain: a varied circuit that is tough on the rear tyres, where the grand prix now starts in the late afternoon and ends in the evening. This leads to falling ambient and track temperatures as the race goes on. Although the range has evolved from 2014, with a new rear construction designed to distribute forces and temperatures more evenly, these nominations are the same as those made for the equivalent races last year.

Grand Prix Super Soft Soft Medium Hard
Australia
X X
Malaysia

X X
Bahrain
X X
China
X X

CONCLUSION


It's no surprise to learn the dominant team of last season is still the fastest this year, but Mercedes pace was still a surprise for its rivals. Nico Rosberg's fastest time on the soft tyre was more than 0.2s clear of the best from Williams and Ferrari on the super-soft, suggesting a healthy margin over the rest of the field. It should be noted that the Circuit de Catalunya was an unusually strong track for Mercedes last year - it was a full second ahead of its Red Bull in qualifying and nearly two seconds ahead of Ferrari - so while it is undoubtedly still ahead it may not have achieved as great a percentage increase as its rivals. Mercedes won't stand still ahead of the start of the season, however, and the onus is very much the rest of the field to catch up.

Strength: Unmatchable pace and the best reliability record of the field over the three tests. It sounds like a championship-winning combination.

Weakness: These things are relative, but both drivers struggled with set-up at the final test with excess oversteer on the medium tyres. It may be an issue isolated to cold track conditions, but worth keeping an eye on.

Quickest lap at Circuit de Catalunya: Nico Rosberg 1:22.792 (soft)
Lap count over three tests: 1,350
A good result in Australia: A one-two is expected in both qualifying and the race
A bad result in Australia: Anything other than maximum points

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BARCELONA TEST 1 - WHAT WE LEARNT

Yes yes, testing doesn't prove anything. Fastest times during tests doesn't mean anything. I've heard that a thousand times. Especially from those fans whose teams didn't do too well during testing. Well guess what, they do mean something. Maybe not much but 0.1 is still more than 0. Testing still shows how reliable a car is or is going to be, how fast a car can go during a qualifying run or how fast it really is compared to rivals on different tyres as Rosberg showed. Splitting the two Lotus drivers on the timesheets with medium rubbers, he was only 0.254s off Romain Grosjean's best which was set on the new super-soft rubber and in the same conditions as Grosjean’s, That doesn't tell you anything? Are you sure you're a F1 fan?

So why have tests if it means nothing? The teams spent millions on tests for what? To prove nothing? A marketing exercise? So shut yer trap and enjoy the stats below. Draw your own conclusions too and may that strengthen your support for your team whatever your conclusion may be. Lets just enjoy our F1 shall we?



Engine Manufacturer Test Mileage

Engine Manufacturer Miles Kms
Mercedes 4390.9 7066.29
Renault 2397.9 3858.99
Ferrari 1917.8 3086.26
Honda 358.7 577.22

Team Test Mileage

Team Miles Kms
Mercedes 1290.1 2076.13
Red Bull 1209.1 1945.79
Toro Rosso 1188.8 1913.2
Williams 1177.3 1894.58
Lotus 1044.2 1680.45
Ferrari 997.9 1605.97
Sauber 919.8 1480.29
Force India 879.3 1415.12
McLaren 358.7 577.22

Driver Test Mileage

Driver Team Miles Kms
Verstappen Toro Rosso 645 1038.06
Kvyat Red Bull 624.8 1005.48
Ricciardo Red Bull 584.3 940.31
Hamilton Mercedes 581.4 935.65
Rosberg Mercedes 569.8 917.03
Sainz Toro Rosso 543.8 875.14
Vettel Ferrari 523.6 842.55
Bottas Williams 514.9 828.59
Maldonado Lotus 500.4 805.31
Ericsson Sauber 480.2 772.73
Raikkonen Ferrari 474.4 763.42
Wehrlein Mercedes/Force India 465.7 749.45
Perez Force India 448.3 721.52
Nasr Sauber 439.7 707.56
Massa Williams 413.6 665.66
Grosjean Lotus 321.1 516.7
Wolff Williams 248.8 400.33
Alonso McLaren 228.5 367.74
Palmer Lotus 222.7 358.43
Button McLaren 130.2 209.47
Hulkenberg Force India 104.1 167.58

Best Times Barcelona

Date Driver Team Tyres Time Gap
22-Feb Grosjean Lotus SS 01:24.07 123.868 mph
22-Feb Rosberg Mercedes M 01:24.32 0.254
21-Feb Maldonado Lotus SS 01:24.35 0.281
20-Feb Ricciardo Red Bull S 01:24.57 0.507
20-Feb Raikkonen Ferrari S 01:24.58 0.517
20-Feb Massa Williams S 01:24.67 0.605
20-Feb Perez Force India SS 01:24.70 0.635
21-Feb Verstappen Toro Rosso SS 01:24.74 0.672
20-Feb Hamilton Mercedes M 01:24.92 0.856
22-Feb Kvyat Red Bull S 01:24.94 0.874
22-Feb Nasr Sauber SS 01:24.96 0.889
22-Feb Bottas Williams S 01:25.35 1.278
22-Feb Sainz Toro Rosso SS 01:25.60 1.537
20-Feb Alonso McLaren S 01:25.96 1.894
20-Feb Palmer Lotus S 01:26.28 2.213
22-Feb Vettel Ferrari S 01:26.31 2.245
21-Feb Ericsson Sauber S 01:26.34 2.273
22-Feb Hulkenberg Force India S 01:26.59 2.524
21-Feb Wehrlein Force India M 01:27.33 3.266
19-Feb Button McLaren M 01:28.18 4.115
19-Feb Wehrlein Mercedes H 01:28.49 4.422
19-Feb Wolff Williams M 01:28.91 4.839

PIRELLI TYRE STATISTICS

In addition to the usual 2015 tyre range, teams were also able to try out a prototype medium at Barcelona, which is being assessed by Pirelli for development purposes. Any teams that had not used their allocation of ‘winter hard' prototypes at Jerez were also allowed to carry them over to Barcelona. Each team is allocated a total of 110 sets of tyres for testing purposes throughout 2015; down from 135 sets last year.

Fastest laps and tyre choices per day

Day 1: Maldonado (Lotus) 69 laps - 1:25.011 (Soft)
Day 2: Ricciardo (Red Bull) 143 laps - 1:24.574 (Soft)
Day 3: Maldonado (Lotus) 104 laps - 1:24.348 (Supersoft)
Day 4: Grosjean (Lotus) 111 laps - 1:24.067 (Supersoft)

After four days of testing a total of 3134 laps were covered, with the performance gains in evidence compared to last year's Spanish Grand Prix pole time of 1:25.232s. This year's Pirelli tyres feature a new rear construction, which distributes temperature more evenly and also contributes to a reduction in lap time.

Tyre sets brought to Barcelona:
398 (18 supersoft; 56 soft; 135 medium; 51 hard; 70 intermediate; 44 full wet, 18 prototype medium, 6 winter hard)

Tyre sets used:
261 (11 supersoft; 56 soft; 126 medium; 35 hard; 9 intermediate; 0 full wet, 18 prototype medium, 6 winter hard)

Longest run per tyre:

Supersoft : Felipe Nasr, Sergio Perez, Pascal Wehrlein - 5 laps
Soft : Valtteri Bottas - 16 laps
Medium : Max Verstappen - 24 laps
Hard : Valtteri Bottas - 27 laps
Prototype medium : Daniel Ricciardo - 14 laps
Intermediate : Sebastian Vettel - 7 laps
Winter hard : Jolyon Palmer - 14 laps

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