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Barcelona Day 1 – It’s all about the wings
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Barcelona Day 1 – It’s all about the wings
Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Feb 2010   |  10:49 pm GMT  |  122 comments

Today the 11 teams who have got their cars ready for the start of the new season were on track for the first day of the final official test at Barcelona.

Picture 12
Mark Webber set the fastest time, but the headline lap times are not really important at this stage, that will come in the later stages of the test when we start to get the low fuel qualifying specials.

What was interesting today was that the teams were working hard on the adjustable front wings which have become a crucial device on the long runs with heavy fuel loads.

Since last season, the rules have permitted an adjustable front wing flap. Last year people didn’t really use them much, except perhaps when following another car closely so as not to lose downforce.

But this year they are a useful weapon to prolong tyre life as the driver can trim the car during the course of the long 45 to 50 lap stints we are seeing. Ferrari has this really worked out well already, as we saw in Jerez last week. McLaren was working on it today as were Renault and others.

In these colder conditions the tyres are graining more than one would expect them to in Bahrain, so it’s hard for the teams to know exactly where they stand, but they can only work with what’s in front of them.

Today the rear tyres were going off and drivers were trying to minimise that with the front wing flaps. When the rears started to go, I’m told it was very noticeable in the high speed corners, like Turn 3, that the cars were very twitchy, the Sauber being the most extreme example.

Most drivers worked on the soft Bridgestone tyre today, with only Webber and Hulkenberg trying the super soft. Webber did not go any faster on his short run on super soft than he had on the soft. He stopped at one point for a precautionary gearbox change.

“Obviously we put some new parts on the car which helped a lot – and of course the car wasn’t in its heaviest form in terms of fuel,” Webber said. “Ok, we used a lot of performance today to get the lap time, but we’re still looking to improve before Bahrain. “We still have problems, so we are not going on holiday tonight. We have more work to do, and we’re still improving this car.”

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg did 107 laps and afterwards said that the team would not make a leap in performance this week, but more likely in Bahrain where it will have a significant upgrade,
“It’s difficult to say exactly where we are,” Rosberg said. “I think it’s very close at the front, but that could all change again for Bahrain because the update we have is such a big step.”

Teams practiced pit stops and it looks like we will see stops of around 3 seconds this year, now that there is no refuelling. Pit crews have been doing a lot of fitness training in preparation for the season and now the serious drills start. It will be crucial as there is an advantage to be gained by pitting first in a straight race this year and every second will count.

There are plenty of new aerodynamic parts being bolted onto the cars. I’m told Williams took delivery of a new floor this evening which they will try tomorrow.

Ferrari has a new chassis, the third, on duty this week.

Be sure to follow all the action tomorrow, with Tweets, photos and insights on our Twitter aggregator JA on F1 Tweets Live from Barcelona

Headline Lap Times – Barcelona Day 1

1. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:21.487 109
2. Nico Hulkenberg Williams 1:22.407 82
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:22.514 107
4. Pedro De La Rosa BMW Sauber 1:23.144 73
5. Jenson Button Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:23.452 101
6. Tonio Liuzzi Force India 1:24.064 65
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:24.170 74
8. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:24.173 74
9. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:24.869 111
10. Lucas Di Grassi Virgin Racing 1:27.057 31
11. Fairuz Fauzy Lotus 1:28.002 76

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122 Comments
  1. John Z says:

    Hey James. Can you clarify how the adjustable front wings work? Which part of the wing is being adjusted? Is it the lower element of the wing, the upper element, etc. How often are drivers allowed to adjust the wing per lap? Is it only once per lap? I’d appreciate any insight you can offer.

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ll go into this soon on this site

    2. rpaco says:

      ~Tech regs say:
      3.18 Driver adjustable bodywork :
      A single closed section situated each side of car centre line in the volume bounded by :
      - lines 450mm and 800mm in front of the front wheel centre line ;
      - a vertical plane which intersects these lines at a distance 250mm from the car centre line ;
      - and the inboard face of the bodywork described in Article 3.7.5 ;
      is allowed to change incidence while the vehicle is in motion within a maximum range of 6°, provided any such change maintains compliance with all of the bodywork dimensional regulations.
      Alteration of the incidence of these sections must be made simultaneously and may only be commanded by direct driver input and controlled using the control electronics specified in Article 8.2. Except when the car is in the pit lane, a maximum of two adjustments may be made within any single lap of a circuit.

      So in other words, only 6° and only twice per lap! It can be any single pair (left/right) of flaps that still fit within all the existing front wing dimensional regs.

      1. Brace says:

        Why only twice per lap? That’s stupid. But than again I must admit I’m not surprised one bit.

      2. Rich C says:

        Interesting that they specify “simultaneously”. So they cant be used to trim the car port/starboard-wise! WOnder what that would do anyway…

  2. Shiro says:

    James

    On the subject of tyre graining – do you know which teams are suffering more of it and those which are suffering less of it? And if so, would you mind sharing?

  3. Peter says:

    When I click on this website sometimes it comes up with a horrible looking, simple page listed with James’s blogs. Anyone else had this problem?

    1. Pete says:

      Is it blue with just all the headers of the blog entries? If so, its the blasted WPtouch…the piece of software that means you have to make four page requests before you can get to any content!

      1. Mike says:

        Got it for the first time this morning.

      2. Stephen Kellett says:

        James,

        You should fix this.

        Why? If people are having to make four requests to read one page that means for that visitor, per page, they are quadrupling your bandwidth usage. That costs you in increased hosting charges *AND* it slows your site down with increased requests to the webserver and the database sitting behind it holding your blog postings.

        That is lose lose.

      3. Peter says:

        Yeah that’s the one. It only happens sometimes though.

    2. Martin P says:

      Yep I get it too occasionally – as if none of the formatting is recognised (basic text, no alignment, etc.). I just close the browser and come back again until it loads properly.

    3. are you looking at this on a smart phone such as an iPhone or iPod Touch?

      I get it occasionally, usually when im in a low signal area, or not getting a proper 3G signal. Usually a quick refresh solves it

      JAMES!! While on the subject of iPhones and iPods, do you know what would be really cool? Design a good icon for it, becuase you can save the link on an iPhone and if it has some sort of icon attached it looks like an actual app on home screen.

      To see what I mean, if (anyone can do this if you have an ipod or iphone) go to BBC iPlayer on your phone. Add the link to you home screen, once done it shows up with the BBC iPlayer icon and looks like an app

      Just a nice easy way to access the site

      Cheers, CHRIS

  4. Mclarilton says:

    James, fair play, I have to say, on itv i didnt value your input, but although I love the bbc coverage, their website is rubbish ( no insights ) Your site is fantastic, always new thoughts and stories. For me that is part of the season, the differences, the rule benders!! Crack on fella your doing a great job!

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks. You can’t have been listening in the ITV days, because it’s the same kind of stuff!!

      1. Tim Lockhart says:

        I think James many didn’t take advantage of your excellent Friday reports on so one which appeared on the ITV-F1.com site. Many, I think, also seem to forget and take for granted that we didn’t have to pay for ITV through a tax. We got all these services (including the first to broadcast Friday practise) for absolutely nothing, now we have to pay for it… whether we like it or not.

        In regard to testing Webber seems bullish now, so was Alonso a few days ago.

        Do you have any inside information on Mercedes own ‘diffuser of justice’ scheduled for Bahrain. Is there anything in that!?

      2. Cheesey says:

        “We got all these services … for absolutely nothing”

        To be fair, we paid a fairly hefty price in the ITV days in terms of adverts. Remember the end of the San Marino GP in 2005…

        I was never a huge fan of James’ commentary on ITV, but I think he’s really found what he’s good at in the form of this excellent blog. There’s *nothing* like this on the BBC’s site.

        And Jonathan Legard is 1000 times worse at the verbal commentary than James ever was. I can’t stand his forced shouting/excitement and the way he keeps interrupting Martin (who is, of course, a complete legend). At least James’ enthusiasm was genuine, and backed up by real knowledge.

      3. Peter says:

        ‘Diffuser of justice’? Sounds good! I heard they’re taking a massive upgrade for Bahrain! So in reality – Friday practice will be the indicator for Mercedes!

      4. Peter Brito says:

        I must confess. I do prefer you to Legard.
        Although ITV never did as good a job as the BBC did last year with the race build up and post race analysis and F1 forum. But that was never your fault now was it…

      5. Antoine says:

        I don’t know about ITV days ’cause that was probably being broadcast in the UK only but for me this is the closest I ever got to following one of the most informed and best analyst of F1 in my opinion. As far as the TV coverage is concerned I really enjoyed it, I don’t want to criticize the oaks at BBC but 2009 was my least favorite of all in terms of comments/journalism.

        Take for instance the build up to a race (1st lap), MAN, in JA days I almost had a heart attack at the beginning of EVERY race, it was special. Also I liked the “Goooooooooo…” It’s a good thing I’ve managed to keep some videos :-) for my collection

      6. Flintelli says:

        Come back James – all is forgiven….

    2. Rich M says:

      Agree to an extent re: BBC website. Occasionally they have stories by Mark Hughes and Ted Kravitz which give good insight.

      1. Stu says:

        To be honest with you James, there are A LOT of people who didn’t rate your commentary on the different F1 forums. But I think the majority of them would admit that your blog, articles and books make for great reading. And they’d rather have you back partnering Brundle.

        No one ever doubted your technical insight, I think it was just the way it was conveyed. And you often came across as being overly biased.

        It wasn’t until I read your article (on the ITV site) post Spa ’08 that I realised how unbiased you were. Whilst everyone was spouting conspiracy theories you told it as it was.

      2. Martin P says:

        This isn’t aimed at you particularly Stu, I just clicked reply on your entry randomly; but lots of people talk of bias in James’s commentary, not being a fan of what he did and asking if he’s replacing Legard.

        I must confess I find it one of the few things I don’t like about this site (the only other being the individuals who are only here to abuse/use abusive usernames).

        Bias? I’ve never found James biased. Yes he was a clear fan of Lewis’s drive but what’s wrong with that? The guy was an outstanding rookie and that should be reflected in TV coverage. I certainly never heard James denigrate another driver for beating Lewis – that would be bias. Letting your passion and admiration for a driver come through isn’t. If you see bias in that then I’d suggest it reflects your own bias towards a team or driver.

        Not liking his commentary? I think it’s time we all acknowledged something here… James followed Murray Walker…. you know, THE Murray Walker. Murray got some knocks (also unfairly in my view), but he IS the voice of motorsport. Asking James to follow that is like asking Charles to take over from The Queen or Paul Rogers to replace Freddie Mercury…. no matter what he does, it will be different to what everyone is used to. Just look at JL’s commentary now and I think we can all see how well James filled the role in reality (and I say all that as someone who still misses Murray – nothing personal against your commentary James).

        Replacing Legard? How can he ever answer that question on here? He’s a respected journalist and broadcaster and he’s too professional to get embroiled in a public airing of his views on JL, whatever they may be. It’s unfair to keep raising it. If you don’t like JL speak to the BBC.

        In short, these topics keep coming back up and (while I understand why) I find it unfair and more importantly, ungracious to our host. We all enjoy splendid articles, interaction with each other with James himself because he makes it happen for us. I love this site and like many of you, I feel the need to occasionally acknowledge that and make my appreciation known. But to keep raising these items as well is like being asked to dinner and crapping on his carpet while telling him how nice the food is.

      3. bad cop, no donut. says:

        and how was it? that hamilton was robbed. He was too naive, and didn’t know that he was driving against the fia as well. Next time will wait to overtake right before eau rouge, or at the next chicane. A shame that was at spa, a very importan gp win, lost.

      4. Mark Raishbrook says:

        I disagree (about the commentary). I think James is an exceptional commentator. I first heard him way back in 1996 (?) on Eurosport doing the commentary via ESPN for Indy Car with Ben Edwards. Brilliant stuff.

        Ted Kravitz? Nooooo way! He seemed to have no clue about F1 at the beginning and just spouts cliché after cliché.

      5. Antony Biondi says:

        Agree that the BBC is really covering the races well, but their website is terrible! During testing there has never really been anything worth reading on it, and anything that does appear usually follows posts from this site, or the likes of Autosport.

        Keep up the good work, James. Really enjoy your site. Can’t wait for 2010 to start.

      6. jack_faith says:

        this site is simply indispensable. The BBC site, particularly given their resources, is a disappointment. Brundle is obviously the highlight of their broadcast coverage. And you have to commend them for those docs on Jim Clarke, Jackie Stewart, Graham Hill.

      7. Brace says:

        I can;t find anything on BBC website. Kravitz’s blogs are hidden or something. Such a stupid website.

    3. Martin P says:

      The BBC website is the worst one I’ve ever seen – which is more shocking because their normal news sight is the benchmark for usability. But whoever runs the F1 site is useless and ignores basic common sense. Articles move around the page links are in different places every other day and you can’t find “regular” pieces in consistent locations. That’s before we get onto the quality of the content in some cases. It’s a non-starter for me.

      Planet-F1 is the “red-top”, giving a quick heads up on the news, Autosport is just behind in time going to press, but gives higher quality content and then this blog is THE definitive source for analysis and nuance.

      1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

        Martin P – superb post above this one. I share your analysis 100%.

      2. Martin P says:

        The rant about people slagging James’s commentary? Thank you, I rambled a bit but it had to be said!

    4. Glen says:

      The BBC drag the whole thing out too much and it gets boring in the end.

      During one of the red flag events the coverage carried on and on. In the olden days BBC would have cut to something else.

      The ITV coverage improved once they lost thier contract and they could drop some of the corporate shackles. But overall the ITV coverage and thier website was better.

  5. alex m says:

    A great insight into the real life workings of the sport as ever, thanks James.

    Interesting how invisible the adjustable wings were last year, when they were meant to help with trimming aero for overtaking, I struggle to recall a mention of them, yet now, the large variations in 2010 fuel loads brings them into play…

    From what I understand, the difference in lap times on worn/new tyres should provide some excellent overtaking possibilities during the races. Maybe someone should ask for a firm re clarification of the rules on blocking as this to me looks like being a crucial part of the seasons racing. Many times in 2009 we saw different interpretations of the rules and a number of drivers also causing contact, going unpunished.

    1. rpaco says:

      Yes the difference between full fuel on new tyres and no fuel on worn tyres and everything in between, is going to be very interesting.

  6. Segedunum says:

    What imprssed me about Red Bull was that they effectively did a full race simulation, from qualifying to race with a wide spread of times. Barring some reliability gremlins, they are looking pretty good.

    McLaren had the measuring devices out again and I’m still suspicious of Ferrari insisting on doing long runs where we don’t know exactly what they’re doing and trying to throw out PR about fuel corrected times.

  7. Henry says:

    James, from what you said about todays RBR time not being very important; is that becuase they will be going faster or because the others will be going faster? Rather what I should be asking is: what does this tell us, that Red Bull have got some serious qualifying performance or that we still dont have a true indication of their speed running on fumes at mach 10? thank you.

  8. D. says:

    James, you say “there is an advantage to be gained by pitting first in a straight race this year”. Why is that so ?

    1. Thomas says:

      New tyres are faster. So if Lewis is fighting Vettel and Lewis stop first, with all other things being equal, Lewis will get the benefit of faster laptime while Vettel is still running around on his worn tires with less grip.

    2. Ross Dixon says:

      Well youll have the same fuel onboard as the car infront of you as you pit. However you will have new tyres. So the guys who didnt pit will be slower until he pits for new tyres

    3. Tim says:

      Because the driver who pits first will have the same fuel load as everyone else but fresher tyres.

      Last year the advantage went to the driver who stayed out longest, because running with worn tyres and a low fuel load was faster than new tyres and a heavy fuel load.

      1. James Allen says:

        Exactly. A new set of tyres by that stage will be worth several seconds, but that’s why fast pit stops are also important, you can’t afford to give anything away there, not even a second

      2. Mike says:

        How many guys are allowed in the pit box at a tyre stop this season please?

      3. Freespeech says:

        Surly over a race distance this will even out as a driver staying out on his tyres longer will not suffer the same drop off of the person who pitted first and a faster can towards the end of a race may prove to be a huge advantage if a racer such of Hamilton or Alonso was behind the wheel.

  9. M__E says:

    What happened to the new ferrari which was being all blown up and with a new A3 size diffuser, they were saying it was going to be here at Barcelona werent they?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, I was saying that a Toyota engineer went there in the winter, Toyota had designed one and it would be interesting to see if Ferrari brought one to this test or Bahrain, wherever they could get it ready.

      1. Martin P says:

        I take it there’s every chance they could have tried it in the wind tunnel and abandoned it too?

  10. colm says:

    I think I remember Alonso pulling a lever to the left hand side of his cockpit periodically during some races last year (on in-cockpit cams shots). Is this to adjust the wings? Is it that mechanically basic, up & down or do they have various settings?

    1. Ross Dixon says:

      That would be brake bias. This has to be mechanical. The wing trimming is done via the steering wheel

    2. Nadeem Zreikat says:

      would be brake bias or roll bar

  11. colm says:

    By the way, next to those guys on Top Gear, you have the best job ever. Kudos.

  12. Peter Brito says:

    I guess Red Bull does give you wings…

  13. Jasper says:

    So James, in a one on one scrap for the lead between two drivers separated by 1 sec say at the Spanish GP, they’re both nearing the end of that first 40 odd lap stint and the person in 2nd place comes in first leaving the driver in 1st to complete one more lap. How much quicker is the driver who was in 2nd likely to be on that first lap out of the pits approximately?

    Sorry I know that’s gotta be a tough question to answer, I was just thinking if a new set of tyres proves to be a massive advantage, would it be feasible that neither driver in this scenario would want to be the one in 1st in case the driver in 2nd pits before them.

    1. James Allen says:

      Enough to pass. I’ll do this in detail

      1. Jasper says:

        Thanks James, keep up the great work. You’re indispensible. Who else can answer these questions on behalf of the fans?

        So it’s virtually a guarantee they’ll get past as long as they can turn the tyres on straight away, that is interesting.

        Oh and surely Alonso’s 1:20.6 time earlier today couldn’t have been set on a proper qualifying 3 lap fuel load considering Barrichello’s best time in Q2 at the Spanish GP last year was in the 1:19s. Unless Alonso did it on the harder tyre which he would probably end up using from the start of most GPs we suspect? Also I would expect this years cars would be quicker than last years considering they’re much more evolved than May last year. Am I right?

    2. iceman says:

      Another interesting tactical question is whether a new set of hard tyres will be faster than worn softs. So if you’ve qualified and started on softs, can you get an advantage by pitting early for the hard tyres.
      I guess the tactical advantage will be to whoever can make their tyres last longest for the last stint – they’ll be able to pit earliest to gain places mid-race (and hopefully have enough tyre left to defend their position at the end).

  14. steve says:

    Any thoughts on the wheels used by Ferrari on Wednesday? Didn’t the FIA ban this kind of device for this year after the problem with Renault’s device last year?

    1. rpaco says:

      Tech regs:

      12.4.5 No wheel material is permitted in the following exclusion zones :
      - A concentric cylinder of diameter 305mm and length 115mm positioned with its inner face lying in the same plane as the inboard face of the front wheel ;
      - A concentric cylinder of diameter 305mm and length 25mm positioned with its outer face lying in the same plane as the outboard face of the front wheel ;
      - A concentric cylinder of diameter 305mm and length 100mm positioned with its inner face lying in the same plane as the inboard face of the rear wheel ;
      - A concentric cylinder of diameter 305mm and length 30mm positioned with its outer face lying in the same plane as the outboard face of the rear wheel.

      Thus it can be seen that only thingies outside the wheel outer face could be used, but they are not allowed anyway as they would fall outside the max overall permitted widths.

  15. PaulL says:

    You know I think one-stop for a race might be too few. I don’t agree with mandatory stops, but could Bridgestone or Michelin (in 2011 hopefully) bring tyres that are deliberately too soft, thus requiring an extra stop?

    PS. Who here is keen for a JA on F1 iPhone app for 2009? It is ‘the’ news site for me along with Autosport, I’d even pay a few bucks for that.

    1. PaulL says:

      make that an iPhone app for 2010! with Push Notifications for new comments!

      1. Nadeem Zreikat says:

        count me in

      2. Andy C says:

        Yes.

        Although I have now added the page onto my Main screen (add link and add to home page adds it onto your desktop)

    2. American_F1_Fan says:

      Count me in as well!

  16. Ridwan says:

    Barcelona test, as you already hinted before, should give us deeper info on cars performance. I can’t enjoy BBC coverage, so this blog is my main source to get all that info. And I have to confess, I read this blog from the 1st post you made. From all those articles here, they always have high rating from me. Thank you James.

  17. Zach says:

    Hey there, this is my first comment!!

    I enjoy reading this, as it is very informative. I have this feeling that Mercedes will not be as good in the beginning as everybody thinks. This season is shaping up to be very exciting. I think the all the top teams will be very close. Now what those top teams are, I do not know, as it is still testing.

    Any news on the Renault front?

    Great work!!

  18. Jeff says:

    Hi James.

    I read on one website that McLaren may be directing some of the air that enters the engine intake above the driver’s head over the back of the car for to aid downforce performance.

    If true, would that be illegal, or just a clever feature?

    It does look like there is some directed airflow areas underneath the McLaren air intake that you don’t see on most of the other cars.

    1. parafone says:

      It’s perfectly legal. The idea is that the air ‘feeds’ the rear wing.

  19. Carl says:

    I agree pitstops are more important this year than last. But i disagree that pitting first is an advantage, it depends on what compound your running etc or change to.

    Even if you swap to a softer / faster compound the tyres will be relatively cold vs your opponents tyres which are at race temps. So its going to take awhile to get gains. And your oppenent has ample time to cover.

    I think ferrari have it right you want to start on the hard compounds and go as long as you can.

  20. Bayan says:

    James,

    any news on the new ferrari diffuser or are they still using the old one?

    Is Mclaren using a new diffuser as well?

    THanks.

  21. lip_iceman says:

    James, is there a rule to prevent the cars running out of fuel on the Q3 in-lap? Car is qualified lightest, yellow flags once its done the flyer…

    Also, any talk of adjustable rear wings in the near future? Would do lots for fuel consumption.

    1. James Allen says:

      Great question, I’m sure it’s covered but I’ll check

    2. Frank Dernie says:

      The rules specify that there must be at least 1 litre of fuel left in a car at any time in order for a fuel sample to be taken to check its legality. Any car running out on the in lap would break that rule, though what penalty would be applied I do not know.

  22. ani says:

    the first time i saw the headline … i thought the article was about redbull …
    now i see u dont seem too impressed .

  23. Trent says:

    James,

    Can you explain how the pitstops are so much faster than pre-1994? 6 seconds was an exceptional stop back in those days, and there is now an additional step in the process (fastening the retaining pins).

    Any ideas?

    1. James Allen says:

      We’ll look into it, but this is what I’m being told by teams

      1. Martin P says:

        James, given the significance of pit-stops this year, when you do your piece about their strategic importance, could you add a paragraph about the basic ‘tools and rules’ of a pit-stop?

        For example, is it prescribed how many pit crew they can use? Are wheel guns/pins/nuts etc. the same for all teams? What can/can’t they work on within the rules? (traffic light systems vs hydraulic lifts etc).

        Unless I’m missing something the pit-stop is the one area that ANY team can be the best at if they work on it and even USF1 should have as much chance as Ferrari at being the pit-stop King if I’ve understood the rules right.

      2. krad says:

        I remember some record attempt decades ago on record breakers or something and im sure they did it in around 4s

    2. PaulL says:

      I believe McLaren had it down to about 4 seconds in 1993.

    3. rpaco says:

      3 seconds looks about right assuming the driver stops dead on the mark and the guy with the air nut driver hits it dead on. Nowadays there is no risk of the nut falling out of the gun, the guy operating it needs only make three body/arm movements and three finger movements ans a last in and flick/pull the lock mechanism on the nut. Nuts coming off are a rarity now. I suppose we may see some accidents in the pits where one of the tyre crew falls over or the driver is released too soon. Hopefully Ferrari have abandoned their traffic light system.

    4. iceman says:

      DTM have been managing 4-5 second pit stops with fewer people, so I’m sure F1 will be faster than that. But I too would be interested to know where the improvements have been made since ’94. Fitter, better-drilled pit crews perhaps? Better designed wheels? Souped-up rattle guns?

  24. Gil Dogon says:

    James, it was interesting to hear Rosbergs comments which also echo some of Brawns before, which means Mercedes will probably make a bih step in Bahrain. I wanted to know though, if there are any news of the rumored Ferrary super-duper-diffuser ?

  25. Darren says:

    James is the lotus a dog of a car, it looks so slow ;-(

    1. James Allen says:

      Other teams say they cannot understand why Lotus did their own gearbox, rather than buy one in. It doesn’t sound right apparently.

      1. Andy C says:

        James
        could you ellaborate on it doesnt sound right?

        Assuming they can hear it change gear and it sounds different to all the others?

        Who else buys in gearboxes (I know Force India have the McLaren box)?

        Thanks, Andy

      2. Martin P says:

        Is it too late to buy one? If it adds a second a lap it could be the single biggest improvement leap of the season!

      3. thaicook says:

        do teams have an option to buy new gearboxes from different suppliers during a season or do we now expect Lotus to have a bad gearbox all season??

      4. James Allen says:

        I think they could do that. I’m not saying it’s bad, but other engineers question the wisdom of it, that’s all.

  26. Phil says:

    That’s brake bias, wing angle is from the steering wheel

  27. Nathan says:

    James,

    Not sure if you have already answered this one but why have some of the cars got green lights at the back of them and some red?

  28. michael grievson says:

    That would be great

  29. Pat says:

    Any body know what’s happened to Jorg Zander the aerodynamacist who left Brawn GP in June last year ?

    1. JohnsonsEvilTwin says:

      Jorg Zander is now as hard to find as a special forces ghost.
      However, having done some research i can say with a degree of accuracy, that he isnt the new adrian newey.
      Alot of the BGP001′s design credit should go to Loic Bigois, and as far as im aware the aero team reamins largely unchanged bar the demise of Mr Zander.

      1. Pat says:

        Oi get back to CRASH ! LOL

  30. MinusH says:

    I’m trying to understand what mercedez are doing, they certainly don’t seem to be chasing times… are they hiding their true potential?

  31. MinusH says:

    Also intersting to note that MS was testing the new aero parts today and not nico yesterday?

  32. David Smith says:

    James.

    Any thoughts on those discs that have appeared on the ferrari wheel rims – Is this another area subject to a loophole and are other teams going to follow or is this more protests to come. As if my memory serves me correctly ferrari used these 2006 before they went full hog and invented the frisbees.
    Another thing is should the shark fins be banned as they just make some sexy looking cars damn ugly…
    Dave

    1. James Allen says:

      Not really. I’ve asked about them, but they seem to be a talking point

    2. PaulL says:

      I completely disagree about the shark fins. I love their look!

  33. Jon Wilde says:

    Off topic,

    But the how can you put lights on top of the new Safety Car Mercedes Benz Gullwing? Surely you won’t be able to open the doors? Won’t the lights get in the way….?

    1. Martin Collyer says:

      Have you seen post 40 yet? There is a link to some good pictures of how the car will look.

  34. rpaco says:

    James just how finely can the drivers adjust the flaps from the cockpit?
    Obviously they must work on push rods since the nose cone is removable. I suppose an entirely self contained closed circuit hydraulic system could exist in the nose and itself be operated by push rods/actuators on the main car hydraulics. However this would give two changes of energy type and be inefficient.

    1. lip_iceman says:

      http://www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/128417

      Here’s a link to a pic of Trulli’s broken front wing from Barca last year. Undoubtedly hydraulic, but I think (I stand to be corrected) a lot of teams run pure electric actuators with worm-type gearing.

      It’s interesting that hydraulic actuators are used at all; these are generally difficult to control precisely.

      1. rpaco says:

        Certainly looks hydraulic, plus an elect connector.

        “It’s interesting that hydraulic actuators are used at all; these are generally difficult to control precisely.” My old customer JCB, would probably disagree with that, they had very precise controls even on large sized rams.

        But then I guess a stepper motor and a worm drive would be accurate and would remain set with power off.

  35. Andy C says:

    James
    I was quite interested to see Fernando coming out the pits with a Shark fin engine cover…..

    Could this be the huge aero new package they have been giving the big hot air about ;-)

    Or is it just, well everyone else has one.

  36. rpaco says:

    James can you tell us about tyre wear please?
    will a tyre wear more if unloaded and maybe not warm enough, or when fully loaded and pushed hard?
    What is the correlation between graining, wear and marbles. Can they wear without creating marbles?
    I am sure we did not have marbles 20 years ago and we had tyres to last the whole race.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll do something on that shortly

    2. Trent says:

      Definitely there were marbles 20 years ago. Have a look at some of the old footage from places like Detroit, Monaco and Adelaide and you will see it.

      I went to Adelaide ’92 and remember running on the track after the race to grab a pocketful as a momento!

      1. rpaco says:

        Ah well maybe I meant 30 years ago then, 92 was like yesterday!

  37. Freespeech says:

    I am getting increasingly worried about McLaren’s pace, I get the impression they are trailing both Redbull and Ferrari – I really do hope I’m wrong.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think you may be. McLaren are quick

    2. rpaco says:

      You aint seen nuffin yet sunshine!

      Unless someone has worked out the fuel load on each test run and noted the corrected times, tyre type, laps on each tyre start and finish etc, then we just don’t know and wont until the first quali.

      Of course if someone has, then please tabulate and post. I guess the teams have had spies looking in each garage and making notes on all this so they probably know a lot morem than we do.

  38. wilson720 says:

    Was wondering if anyone can shed any light on the differences in the aerodynamic styles (the principles) of the cars, The Mercedes, Redbull, Torro Rosso, Ferrari, Virgin, all have quite exaggerated curves on the top of the nose cone where as McLaren and BMW Sauber has none, the Williams, Lotus, Force India very small curves, the Renault Im not sure what they’ve gone for in comparison to the other teams!

  39. JL says:

    James, just to help out your possible comparisons after today’s testing (Day 2): I guess the long runs are easier to compare, but I read some insight from Antonio Lobato in which he said that Alonso did his short stints today with 30Kg of fuel. Do not know for sure if that means he could have improved his time in 8 tenths though.

  40. Vinicius Antunes says:

    Off topic I know, but I saw this blog entry about the new safety car today (http://www.anf1blog.com/2010/02/2010-f1-safety-car-revealed-gallery/) and got curious as to why a Mercedes is the safety car and not a Ferrari or a McLaren, or any other car? A 458 Italia Ferrari would look lovely as a safety car!

  41. Patrickl says:

    Several drivers said they were using the adjustable front wing last year on every lap. I remember Alonso, Hamilton and Kovalainen talking about it. They used it to adjust the car for corners or a long straight. They’d change the setting on the same two spots of the track every lap.

    1. agusn says:

      Alonso said he never touched it, after a few first races.

      1. Patrickl says:

        Q: Alonso said he never used the adjustable frontwing in the qualiying sessions…
        Bell: ”But he did use it during the race. When the balance of the car changes because the tyres change then the drivers definately use it.”

        Come to think of it, it was Button who I was thinking off. Looking through the quotes, also Fisichella, Barrichello and nakajima commented on it’s uselefulness as a setup changing device.

        Fact is, several drivers were using it mostly as a setup change during a lap. Not for the overtaking purposes that it was meant for.

  42. cube says:

    STUPID

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