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Video: Inside track on the F1 testing ahead of Jerez
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Video: Inside track on the F1 testing ahead of Jerez
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Feb 2011   |  8:35 am GMT  |  41 comments

Tomorrow (Thursday 10 February) sees the start of the second official F1 test at Jerez in Spain, a faster circuit than Valencia which hosted the first outing.

Everyone except Hispania will have new cars on test. Already we have seen some interesting solutions on some of the cars as well as some high degradation on the new Pirelli tyres. Valencia was mainly about bedding in new technology, in Jerez we will start to see some performance.

In this exclusive video, which I shot on Monday at Williams, technical director Sam Michael talks about the tyre degradation, the other cars and about the radical Williams back end and gearbox. He says that many of the solutions on the 2011 cars would have been impossible two years ago. He makes the fascinating assertion that the technical level in F1 is now so high that, “Nothing is impossible.”

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41 Comments
  1. BA says:

    I hope it’s not raining ^_^

    1. Galapago555 says:

      I hope so.

      Maybe we have some rain on Sunday.

      http://bit.ly/aDSdBs (It’s in Spanish, but the pictures are self explaining.)

  2. Stevie P says:

    James, how well do you know Sam Michaels? Does he ever crack a smile?

      1. Stevie P says:

        Good… I thought he was the world’s most serious man, for a time. And hey, sometimes you’ve just gotta smile… :-)

        I’ve enjoyed the blossoming rapport, banter and verbal sparring between Messrs Brawn, Whitmarsh and Horner (with even “Steve Sunday” joining in too) which to me has become more apparent over the last few seasons.

        I’m sure that this always existed behind the scenes but it’s good to see more exposure of this (the more human side of F1).

  3. Chris Hill says:

    As always James unrivaled coverage. Its interesting to hear Sam talk about the Torro Rosso in that way. I thought most of the big teams had looked a the double floor and have dismissed it as too difficult to get it to work as the wind tunnel suggests it should. I know these were not recent evaluations but Ferrari did actually run with a double floor in the 90`s I beleive

  4. Ali Unal says:

    That’s very insightful video. Thank you James. “Nothing is impossible” verdict is quite important assertion which tells us where now the teams are. Restriction creates more creative engineers, as always. If you say a child “Don’t do this”, he’ll do it one way or another. Brilliant.

    By the way, I watched the whole clip wondering whether I could see Sam Michael smile at all. And at the very last moment of it, there it is! Now, I am a person who has more hope on life ;)

  5. ian says:

    Very interesting. Have HRT bought the new Williams gearbox?

  6. mekanikal_grip says:

    James,

    v interesting. I would love to hear more about the settings the driver has to make on his qualifying out lap(s), any chance?

    Also surprised he didnt mention McLaren’s extreme solution?!

  7. F1a says:

    Nothing is impossible?

    Except McLaren building a fast car… I say that as a McL fan!

    Prove me wrong!

    1. Dale says:

      Well with Lewis (the fastest current Fi driver by far as well as the most racey) in one of their cars if they built a car as fast as the fastest he’d win every race and tat wouldn’t be much fun would it? :)

      1. Galapago555 says:

        Hear hear… “fastest current F1 driver by far”

        We have a bunch of World Champions this season on the grid. Let’s enjoy it. Let the season begin, we’ll discuss who’s faster than who in a few weeks.

        Of course, my dad’s car is bigger that yours’ :-D

      2. Galapago555 says:

        Hear hear… “fastest current F1 driver by far as well as the most racey”

        We have a bunch of World Champions this season on the grid. Let’s enjoy it. Let the season begin, we’ll discuss who’s faster than who in a few weeks.

        Of course, my dad’s car is bigger that yours’ :-D

  8. Hare says:

    Good interview James. Take it this was before McLaren built their car in Berlin? No way could Sam ignore that in his statement.

    1. James Allen says:

      No it was done Monday as it says in the post.

      1. JayW says:

        Hence the rye smile at the end of the interiew me thinks! :-)

      2. bob denver says:

        It was so “rye” i put some mustard and some schwartz’s montreal smoked meat on it and had a delicious sandwich.

      3. JayW says:

        Predictive txt! I get the feeling Mclarens approach to their launch has irritated a few!

  9. Michael T says:

    Can we not ditch boring Barcelona and Valencia street circuit and bring Jerez back on the calendar!?!?!?

    1. Galapago555 says:

      +1

      I bet it can produce much more interesting races than any of the other two circuits in Spain.

      I’m affraid they cannot match the loads of money that Valencia pays to Bernie, and I imagine the situation is the same re Montmeló (Barcelona).

    2. rfs says:

      Xerez has some history, but why would it be any better than Barcelona or Valencia?

      1. Michael T says:

        Well it would be hard to be worse!

  10. Joe says:

    Love the One HD shirt James! Really looking forward to your contribution to Aussie F1 coverage this year, your work in 2010 was just fantastic!

  11. manos says:

    James what are the prospects in Williams for this year?What Sam told u?I bet u asked him!

    1. James Allen says:

      Early to say but they hope to be at least where they ended last season, I imagine and maybe challenging Renault and Merc if things go well.

      1. tank says:

        Interesting… you think Merc and Renault will be teams 4 and 5 again?

  12. Richard Bell says:

    Strange to see their 2010 car behind him as if they’re working on it.

  13. Bruce says:

    It’s really good to have these live videos of someone like Sam Michael explaining his view of the car and some of the opposition’s ones as well.

    Well done James! Oh, and I love your book!

  14. Dale says:

    Excellent James keep it up!

  15. Jodum5 says:

    Why couldn’t you push a bit and ask what was so interesting the Red Bull and STR cars? Missed details like that (or not even attempting to ask) is frustrating for viewers/readers.

    Keep it up though, interesting post.

  16. Ben Cooper says:

    Just a question about williams KERS, i havent seen anything about it yet. I recall Williams KERS prototype (i dont think it saw action over a race weekend?) for 2009 being based on a flywheel system, and have since provided systems for Porsche GT3R Hybrid and 918 concept? Are williams bringing this to the grid in their 2011 car, or have they gone with the traditional battery pack system that i understand the other teams are using/have developed?

    1. zoomy says:

      They’re using a battery based KERS. They had a small problem with it on the first day of the test last week so it didnt run the first 2 days – but it ran at full power for the whole of the last day at valencia so looking good!

  17. Chris Partridge says:

    Nice video and interesting stuff, thanks James.

  18. Mattij says:

    Great video James, big thanks!

  19. Mike Dawson says:

    Great insight into F1 and the design and engineering side. Did Frank Williams once day that F1 was is an engineering business that turns into a sport every few weeks during the summer?
    Love it, can’t wait for the new season.

  20. Jim says:

    Off topic, but if YouTube’s new iframe video embed method could be used instead of the old object/embed tag method that would be good:

    http://apiblog.youtube.com/2011/01/introducing-javascript-player-api-for.html

    The iframe method is now the default for YouTube embedding. The advantage of the iframe method is that it allows both flash playback and HTML5 playback to work so the appropriate playback option can be used for each individual site visitor. In my case I use YouTube’s HTML5 player as I don’t have Flash installed. See http://www.youtube.com/html5 for some more about YouTube’s HTML5 player.

  21. Rob, Victoria, B.C Canada says:

    Here’s a stupid question James. What is the function of the black, vertical blade, almost looks like a Roman sword – projecting above the roll-bar on the Ferraris – which they use in testing?

    Thanks.

      1. Rob, Victoria, B.C Canada says:

        Sorry James, I get the concept, but does it contain measuring, and recording, equipment?

        Thank you, Rob.

  22. jose arellano says:

    does HRT will have this gearbox as well?

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