Tuesday, February 24, 2015


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


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

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Lewis Hamilton fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


2015 is here and we're 2 months away from the first race. It's been a nice short winter to be honest, I didn't really feel the withdrawal symptoms much this time. The new cars have been launched fast and simple, no big launches with fancy settings and the such. All 8 teams have showed their cars and run them at the first test of the year in Jerez, Spain.

Ferrari seem to be topping the time sheets but as usual testing times are not representative of anything. Or are they? If you know what to look for you'd know that Mercedes are still strong and probably not concerned about fast times. They are reliable, qualifying times can always be worked out later. McLaren's troubles are expected, we'll see how good Honda really is soon.

Engine Manufacturer Test Mileage - Jerez

Engine Manufacturer Miles Kms
Mercedes 2707.4 4356.98
Ferrari 2011.3 3236.74
Renault 1428 2298.04
Honda 217.4 349.8

Team Test Mileage - Jerez

Team Miles Kms
Mercedes 1419.7 2284.76
Sauber 1051 1691.43
Toro Rosso 971.2 1563.02
Ferrari 960.2 1545.31
Williams 764.9 1230.94
Lotus 522.8 841.29
Red Bull 456.7 735.02
McLaren 217.4 349.8

Driver Test Mileage – Jerez

Driver Team Miles Kms
Rosberg Mercedes 847.4 1363.77
Hamilton Mercedes 572.3 920.99
Raikkonen Ferrari 550.3 885.57
Nasr Sauber 542 872.28
Ericsson Sauber 509 819.15
Sainz Toro Rosso 503.5 810.29
Verstappen Toro Rosso 467.7 752.73
Vettel Ferrari 410 659.75
Massa Williams 396.2 637.61
Maldonado Lotus 376.9 606.61
Bottas Williams 368.7 593.33
Ricciardo Red Bull 231.1 371.94
Kvyat Red Bull 225.6 363.08
Grosjean Lotus 145.8 234.67
Button McLaren 112.8 181.54
Alonso McLaren 104.6 168.26

Pirelli Tyre Stats

Tyre sets brought to Jerez : 284 of which 5 supersoft; 37 soft; 120 medium; 57 hard; 40 intermediate; 25 full wet.
Tyre sets used : 155 of which: 0 supersoft; 21 soft; 83 medium; 29 hard; 16 intermediate; 6 full wet.

Pirelli's special 'winter hard' prototype tyres (16 sets) were also brought to Jerez. Two sets of these are available per team for the total of the three pre-season test sessions. The 'winter hard' is a prototype tyre strictly for testing purposes only, which will not form part of the P Zero range in 2015. It is a hard tyre with a low working range compound, which allows it to quickly reach top performance even in cool conditions: well suited for European weather conditions in February.

Longest run per tyre:

Soft: Maldonado (Lotus) 19 laps Day 3
Medium: Rosberg (Mercedes) 29 laps Day 1
Winter Hard: Rosberg (Mercedes) 34 laps Day 1
Hard: Rosberg (Mercedes) 42 laps Day 1
Intermediate: Rosberg (Mercedes) 25 laps Day 3
Full Wet: Nasr (Sauber) 4 laps Day 2

The best times and their tyre choice of every day:

Day 1: Vettel (Ferrari) 60 laps 1:22.620 Medium
Day 2: Vettel (Ferrari) 89 laps 1:20.984 Medium
Day 3: Nasr (Sauber) 109 laps 1:21.545 Soft
Day 4: Raikkonen (Ferrari) 106 laps 1:20.841 Soft

In four days of testing a total of 2294 laps were covered. Last year, 1470 laps were covered in total during the same period, with 11 teams on track instead of eight this year. The fastest time in 2014 was 1:23.276 (Kevin Magnussen, McLaren), underlining a huge increase in performance and reliability compared to a year ago. Each team is allocated a total of 135 sets for testing purposes throughout 2015.

Car Analysis

Although everybody says that testing doesn't mean anything, if you know what to look out for you'd know some hidden trends that would shape this coming season. Of course I wouldn't know because I'm not some F1 engineer with 20 years experience. But with the help of JA on F1 technical adviser Dominic Harlow, formerly chief operations engineer at Force India and Williams, we can look at drawing some conclusions about relative performance. The original article can be found at James Allen blog - JA on F1.

Mercedes – Hamilton

He was faster than Raikkonen on similar wet track conditions in the morning (10:15 to 10:30)
Hamilton changes to dry tyres and continues the run, he completes 37 Laps in total without refuelling. That’s around 54Kg of fuel so likely that the base fuel load is 60Kg or more, quite high, in other words. It looks from the consistency of the dry times and the length of the runs (several at 15 timed laps) that Mercedes don’t change fuel level all day, only tyre compound in the afternoon.

Mercedes were clearly concentrating on reliability at this test; after all reliability was the only thing, aside from the collision at Spa, that stopped them winning all the races last year. For optimum testing it is obviously best to keep the fuel level constant between outings, to be able to draw conclusions on set up changes etc.

Mercedes top speed is a bit lower than some rivals, particularly Williams, but also Lotus. The Mercedes engined cars still look generally the strongest in a straight line however. Hamilton’s laptimes are continuously at a similar level. Unlike Raikkonen and Ericsson he doesn’t do any slow ‘charge management’ laps for the ERS. (These are laps where the focus is on recharging the ERS, for maximum performance the next lap.) So hamilton is in race mode, rather than qualifying mode here, not pushing for performance lap times at all.

Ferrari – Raikkonen

Raikkonen starts with a couple of longer runs through wet to dry track conditions to check crossover and subsequent dry tyre performance. It appears from the graph that Raikkonen’s laptimes become quite a lot quicker after 13-30, suggesting a reduced fuel level. He is also using the Soft tyre which is 2s faster than the hard so we can’t be sure.

During Raikkonen’s performance runs in the afternoon he is always putting in ‘charge management’ laps suggesting he is using the full 4Mj/Lap ERS-K deployment but can’t supply this continuously in Jerez. In other words, this is clearly a Qualifying mode rather than a Race one. Although the Ferrari seems improved and the drivers report a better handling car, with superior Energy Recovery System, it looks like they were using either lower fuel levels or enhanced engine modes compared to Mercedes who were in ‘Race trim’. The Mercedes is still likely to be quicker but the gap could be smaller than in 2014. We will learn more in the Barcelona tests.

Sauber – Ericsson

Ericsson’s pace is typically slower than Hamilton or Raikkonen until around 16-00, when he starts a series of runs commencing with a quick lap and seemingly running down from a high fuel level. On his final run he runs a slow lap, followed by his best time and then backs off again suggesting some ‘charge management’ therefore a high level of ERS-K deployment.

The run continues until almost the end of the day when there is a short Red-Flag. He then returns to the track and immediately runs out of fuel.This is called a run out. Given that Sauber could not have planned the Red Flag and said that they carried out a run-out test it would appear that the fuel load in the car on ERI’s fastest lap is unlikely to have been more than around 25Kg (an advantage of at least 1.1s over HAM).

As a general note, people have been saying that the care are faster than last year, which is not surprising as they have had a year of development. What is interesting is that, compared to 2013, the laptimes were still quite a lot slower, 1m 18s was the quickest lap then, as opposed to 1m 20 this year, so perhaps this is another indication we haven’t seen everything from the cars and that the aero is still perhaps a bit behind 2013 levels.

Jerez F1 Test – Fastest times of the week

1. Ferrari – Raikkonen – 1m20.841s
2. Sauber – Nasr – 1m21.545
3. Mercedes – Rosberg 1m21.962
4. Williams – Massa – 1m 22.276
5. Toro Rosso – Verstappen – 1m22.553
6. Lotus – Maldonado – 1m22.713
7. Red Bull – Ricciardo – 1m32.338
8. McLaren – Button – 1m 27.660s


So what can we take away from all this? Mercedes is still the team to beat. They are reliable, fast (even if they were sandbagging) and they have 2 drivers hungry for more success - Rosberg to get his first world title and Hamilton to equal his hero Senna.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Lewis Hamilton fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.