A return to winning ways?
Marina Bay 2014
Singapore Grand Prix
Barcelona Test Day 3: Alonso Tops The Times But All Eyes Are On Sutil
Scuderia Ferrari
XPB.cc
Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  21 Feb 2013   |  6:30 pm GMT  |  116 comments

Fernando Alonso completed his first week in the new Ferrari F138 by topping the times on the third day of testing in Barcelona, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean.

Alonso – who is handing the car over to Felipe Massa tomorrow for the final day of the test – used today as a chance to show his team’s pace on the soft compound tyre, completing a number of single-lap runs during the morning session. His time today was within 1/10th of Sergio Perez’s time yesterday, and half a second quicker than Alonso managed in Q3 of qualifying last year.

Alonso traded fastest laps with Pastor Maldonado this morning as they both ran on the soft tyre but they were eventually split by Hulkenberg just before lunch, when he also completed a one lap run using the same tyre. Maldonado dropped down the times as he focused on a race simulation before handing the FW35 over to Valtteri Bottas this afternoon.


The biggest story of the day was always going to be Adrian Sutil’s comeback behind the wheel of a Force India. On his first day in F1 machinery since 2011, the German ended the day a second off Alonso’s ultimate pace. It was an important day for Sutil since he will be giving the car over to Jules Bianchi tomorrow before Force India make their decision on who will fill the teams second seat.

Hulkenberg gave Sauber a competitive day with his soft tyre run in the afternoon to put himself within 3/10ths of Alonso. From then the Swiss squad switched their attentions to long runs with a heavy fuel load.

Lotus had a much needed trouble-free day following their gearbox issues yesterday, with Grosjean completing the most laps of anyone and ending the day with a race simulation.

Nico Rosberg and Mercedes spent much of the morning gathering data without setting any competitive times, but later used a set of mediums to get within 7/10ths of the overall best. Interestingly, and as like Lewis Hamilton yesterday, it was set at the beginning of a seven lap run with a high fuel load relative to the one-lap runners.

It seems at this point, when comparing long runs on the same tyre, that Mercedes and Lotus are very closely matched. Rosberg looked to be running faster during their stints but Grosjean had a heavier fuel load as he completed his race simulation in the afternoon. When Grosjean came to the final stint of his race sim, and with a lower fuel load, his pace matched that of Rosberg earlier in the day.

That will be pleasing for Mercedes as the W04 has got to grips with this years Pirellis better than it has in the previous two years and they can compete with Lotus, who were particularly good at making their tyres last in 2012.

It has been frequently mentioned this week that the new tyres are degrading at a quicker rate than last year. However, as JA on F1 Technical Adviser Mark Gillan hinted earlier in the week, Pirelli believes that the tyres are graining due to the cold track temperatures and believe that once they move to the warmer climates of the season, the tyres will be fine once in their operating range.

Finally, Mark Webber ended the day over a second off Alonso and in ninth place. He also completed a race simulation for Red Bull this afternoon.

Barcelona Test Day 4
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.875s 97 Laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m22.160s +0.285 91
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m22.188s +0.313 119
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.611s +0.736 108
5. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m22.675s +0.800 79
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m22.826s +0.951 68
7. Jenson Button McLaren 1m22.840s +0.965 71
8. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m22.877s +1.002 78
9. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m23.024s +1.149 108
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m23.366s +1.491 106
11. Max Chilton Marussia 1m25.690s +3.815 58
12. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m26.177s +4.302 83

Featured Video
ferhorsepower
Horse Power – Shell & Ferrari’s journey to 2014
Featured News in ferrari
MORE FROM Ferrari
LATEST FROM THE SCUDERIA FERRARI COMMUNITY
Previous
Next
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
116 Comments
  1. Muzzie says:

    James,

    No mention of Button? Apparently ran on hard tyres all day and his best was within a second of Alonso.

  2. jack says:

    cant believe FIndia are even considering Sutil over Biachi. One’s been convicted of a serious and violent crime against a fellow competitor – the other is a young superstar with Ferrari upbringing, who is an amazing talent. Are they crazy? Sutil wasnt even that good in the first place anyway. This is ridiculous.

    1. JC says:

      Force India might just be posturing to try and strike a subsidised Ferrari engine deal in 2014. All manner of crazy makes sense when you consider politics.

    2. Brace says:

      “serious and violent crime”???

      “a fellow competitor”???

      You are making it sound as if he shot another driver’s kneecaps for blocking him in qualifying.

      You should write for some sensationalist tabloid.

      1. jack says:

        what, grevious bodily harm isnt serious? And it was against a competitor’s team member. My point is, F1 is so competitive anyway and there are alot of others who dont go nuts in nightclubs and who are equal or better drivers to Sutil…eg: BSenna, Kobyashi, Glock, etc, etc…and Bianchi too.

      2. DonSimon says:

        He put a glass in someones neck mate. Hardly needs sensationalising.

    3. Quick Nick Rules says:

      Sutil is class – outclassed Di Resta in 2011, the GBH has nothing to do with racing. Bianchi had numerous opportunities in GP2 and never did anything.

      If you want to see how good Sutil is just watch any of the wet races he did in F1 – true barometer of performance and he was always sublime – first points Fuji 07, would have been 4th Monaco ’08 were it not for Kimi, brilliant at Spa ’10. Awesome last race in 2011 at Brazil too, beating Rosberg fair and square, caught the eye in the same way The Hulk did exactly a year later.

      If you ask me, the only driver Force India have had in the last couple of years who has a question mark over him is Di Resta – beaten soundly by both team-mates yet no pressure on his drive – how does that work?

      I honestly believe if he wasn’t British the Media would be clamouring for him to be ditched.

      1. Daninator says:

        “would have been 4th Monaco ’08 were it not for Kimi”

        Everybody seems to forget that SUT was on 20+ laps old tyres while everybody around him had already pitted and could finish the race. Even if RAI didn’t run into SUT, there was no way he was finishing in 4th. As that incident occurred after a safety car, the whole field was bunched together, if SUT didn’t get run into by RAI, he would’ve pitted and re-joined at the back!

      2. David Ryan says:

        Sutil’s solid, but not spectacular – to give one example, he could and should have done more with the opportunity presented at Monza in 2009 where a podium was very much on the cards. Coming just off the back of Fisichella nearly taking a win at Spa the previous race, it did knock my view of him I must admit. He’ll score points consistently, no question, but I doubt he’s the man to drive the team forward. He hasn’t demonstrated that throughout his previous 6 seasons with them. Mind you, I don’t particularly rate Bianchi either – he has pace over one lap, granted, but his GP2 form was not good and he made mistakes in FR3.5 last year which hindered his title chances (before the collision with Frijns…).

        Re. di Resta, two qualifiers needed perhaps. One, his first season was his F1 debut and he outqualified Sutil for much of the start of the year. Two, Hulkenberg is very highly rated indeed and yet prior to di Resta going (by his own admission) completely off the boil at the end of the season he was outscoring Nico 44 points to 33 after 12 races. The pace is clearly there – it’s the consistency he needs to work on, and that’s within both his and the team’s ability to address.

    4. JeremySmith says:

      Rubbish, and what has the night club affair got to do with the driving talents of Adrian Sutil.. Nothing at all !

      1. Tim says:

        In principal I don’t disagree with you. But F1 drivers do so much more than just drive the car. Ask yourself this, if you were a CEO of a global corporation (considering sponsoring FI) would you want your company name associated with a convicted criminal or a driver without any convictions?

      2. JeremySmith says:

        I understand your point, I think that “convicted criminal” tab is rather harsh.. He made a mistake, we don’t know why that happened ? The chap is a concert pianist, the last thing he would want to do is damage his own hands, so I sure it was indeed an accident..

        But now it’s time to move on, I firmly believe that he is the right driver to go back into that car..

        To be honest I would take Adrian and Jules over Paul..

      3. Tim says:

        I don’t mean to be a pedant, but in what way is calling a person convicted of a violent crime ‘a convicted criminal’ harsh? That is, after all, what he is.
        I agree it makes no difference to his driving ability but it makes a world of difference to his ability to be an F1 driver.
        As I said before, it’s hard to imagine the sponsors being too thrilled at being associated with such a person.

      4. jack says:

        Being in F1 is about alot more than just driving talent. In fact, in many ways, these days, its more about your off track sponsor pr skills and there are alot of other drivers who dont go nuts in nightclubs and who are equal or better drivers to Sutil…eg: BSenna, Kobyashi, Glock, etc, etc…and Bianchi too.

    5. jb HAM says:

      Its rumored that Bianchi lacks pace.

    6. Aplomb says:

      Best laugh of the week goes to Bianchi’s PR office… lay it on as thick as possible lads… LOL.

      Sutil is a great driver, the only advantage the slow bianchi has is in negotiations for a Ferrari econonsense engine in 2014.

    7. Robert says:

      Sutil was very, very promising in the 2nd half of 2011. And the CCTV footage played in open court has been written to show that Adrian was seated, sipping champaign when Lux seemed to confront Hamilton and he, and grabbed Sutil’s left are to unseat him. Sutil had only one hand free, and it had a glass in it…should he have stopped to put it down on a small dainty table?

      1. JeremySmith says:

        Robert please explain again what happened in that club, thank you ..

      2. Robert says:

        Lux comes over to a seated Ham and Sutil in the club VIP area, begins jawing to them (Lux had had the VIP area all to himself and his guests before Ham showed up with his guests). Lux leans over Sutil, and grabs Sutil’s left arm, and starts to lift him out of his chair. Sutil has a champaign glass in right hand from which he was drinking. CCTV clearly shows as he is pulled from his chair by Lux, he goes to push Lux away, but the glass was still in his hand as he had no time to get rid of it. At any rate, the right hand with glass pushes into Lux (not a punch, a push), glass shatters, and it hits Lux in the neck as it goes past. Somehow people equate that with some crazed attack by Sutil, but it is all on the club CCTV, and it was initiated by Lux against a sitting, chatting Sutil who happened to be holding a glass of champaign and went to defend himself with his one free hand – the one Lux didn’t grab. Lux has tried to ruin Sutil for the indignity of defending himself and Lux getting hurt in the process, because Lux is a rich CEO who thinks he should get away with anything. And that’s why I want Sutil back in a car for one more season to show if he can race…or not. But his career shouldn’t be ended by Lux out of spite. (NB – getting convicted of a crime in self-defence is a common occurrence in German courts…worse there than even in the UK)

      3. Tim says:

        Sutil only had one hand free, and it had a glass in it…. should he have stopped to put it down…..

        I suspect his legal representative made much the same case, but it would appear the court was not impressed. Neither was the Judge, who handed out a pretty stiff penalty.

    8. SuperSi says:

      well said. F1 should be looking for drivers with personality like Kimi or Fernando. Sutil just seemed to blend into the concrete when he was racing not to mention his performance been some what average. What example is f1 setting by having convicted violent criminals for drivers when children see drivers as role models.
      FIndia should get a grip and give a young talent (Bianchi) a chance. Not many drivers get second chances in f1 these days, why should Sutil?

  3. Andrew says:

    James, do you think this is the best out of the box ferrari that Alonso has had?

    1. Irish con says:

      It’s hard to say this early but the 2010 Ferrari was a very good car to start the season with.

    2. Anne says:

      No, the teams are not showing their cards yet, none of them. However I hope Williams can do a lot better this season. Next week test are going to be a little more reveling

    3. Daninator says:

      Even if ALO topped every test session leading up to Melb, he’s still make us beleive that the car is average and needs improving, and if Ferrari are not careful Newey will design a mod that will make the Redbulls 2s per lap faster than the Ferrari.

      I do believe this years Ferrari is a good start, much better than last years car, but the fastest times mean nothing at this stage. ALO was just shooting for glory.

  4. Large Marge says:

    When wanting to do a low fuel run is it possible for the teams to extract fuel from the tank or do they have to wait until the driver has burnt it all up?

    1. Tim says:

      The fuel rig can pump fuel in and out of the tank. To be sure the correct weight of fuel is in the car, the teams will empty the tank before refilling. That way they have an accurate measurement as part of their analysis of the cars performance.

    2. Timmay says:

      They can suck it out of course

      1. Phil Too says:

        Garden hose and breath mints are the staple of any FI garage mechanic :)

      2. DonSimon says:

        And thats just for a night out.

    3. Simmo says:

      No doubt teams can extract fuel easily. If it weren’t possible it would be difficult for the FIA to do the fuel checks!

    4. clicknclack says:

      Note the ever-present crew member with hose in hand and flammable breath…

  5. Sebee says:

    Is Kingfisher on the cars so that Force India can continue to get marketing dollars from a bankrupt entity?

    I don’t understand with all the negative stories and apparently planes not flying and employees not paid, creditors chasing VJ, why that brand is worth promoting in F1.Why not promote SEGA Genesis or Walkman?

    1. Martin says:

      Kingfisher is also a beer brand of Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries group.

    2. Probe IV says:

      Kingfisher is a very popular brand of Lager/Indian beer: always found in curry restaurants in the UK, alongside Cobra; as well as throughout India. This is where VM (or rather his family) made their money…

      Fashioning himself on Richard Branson, Vijay Mallya then used that branding on his ‘new’ ventures to try and leverage the reputation, etc, previously built up around that brand. Of course, it could be argued now he is damaging the brand by what has happened to airline business…

    3. forzaminardi says:

      Kingfisher make beer too. Beers, planes and racing cars – living the dream…

      1. Sebee says:

        Interesting. I guess Kingfisher is a Virgin wannabe.

        I thought it was just the airline. Never had a Kingfisher beer. Does it claim to turn drinkers into a King or a Fish?

      2. R M says:

        I can vouch that Kingfisher is a superior pint. Goes awfully well with a Chicken Tikka Madras.

      3. Sebee says:

        R M, I will be on the lookout for it. I’m curriuos now.

    4. Chins says:

      VJ owns a Beer brand named “Kingfisher”!

    5. Nathhulal says:

      Google “Kingfisher Beer” and you will know that VJM was not just promoting his Airlines on the FIF1 cars all along. Promoting alcohol is not allowed by the Indian authorities. His airlines and the punch line “kingfisher the king of good times” covered lots of angles when it comes to covert marketing.

      So even if the King fisher is not flying, it’s still promoting an alcoholic beverage.

      It’s not just the smart people at Maranello and Philip Morris can think about white bar-code on red car as a way of covert advertising.

      1. Sebee says:

        Did. Thanks everyone for clearing it up. I never saw the beer and was sure it was related to an airline about which we hear nothing but bad news. I guess it is a risk when you use same brand for many businsses and you let one entity fail. Tarnishes the others.

      2. Jordan says:

        VJ just got thousands of dollars worth of free advertising and he doesn’t even know it….

    6. Scuderia McLaren says:

      lol, Sega Genesis or Walkman.

      Tbh, don’t know why Force India dont look for some new money, a fresh title sponsor. The recent performance from the teams in WCC over the last 2-3 years would warrent it I think. They are a solid midfeild team and without commenting on VJ, the team is a solid and well run team.

      They need to become economically less depended on their owners, whoever they are, and begin injecting new funds as opposed to churning the same funds around and around.

      1. Tim says:

        I expect that thought may have crossed their minds. There was some analysis on the BBC regarding the financial stability of the teams in F1 – if I recall correctely about half could not operate without the financial support of their major shareholders (as opposed to sponsors). In this case VJM.
        The problem is there just isn’t enough of the old bish bash bosh to go round at the moment:-)

  6. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    (It’s day 3, not 4).

    Good for Mercedes, buy maybe it’s not the Pirellis but the Coanda that match the other teams.

  7. goferet says:

    Now, with Alonso’s time being a tenth of Perez’s time yesterday and being 3 tenths off the Sauber’s time today, it’s very likely Ferrari haven’t yet got on top of their qualifying pace and hence Alonso’s down beat demure when asked about the car.

    I mean judging from last year, Perez’s strengths aren’t over one lap so if he was still faster (with relatively the same fuel load seeing as teams tend to employee staff from other teams) then I think Ferrari need more one lap speed.

    As for consistency during this testing, no one comes close to Lotus. I don’t think any of their drivers has finished the day lower than P3 and the biggest positive being a happy and relaxed iceman for if the kimster is happy then all must be well.

    No doubt about it, Mercedes has been the biggest surprise of this winter testing, it seems they’re ticking all the right boxes with reliability being the most important of all boxes.

    Jenson looked good on the hard tyre but it appears the medium tyre is the one they can’t get working properly, so there maybe something there.

    Meanwhile, there must be a little bit of worry at Red Bull for not only wasn’t Lewis’ time yesterday close to Vettel but the two Barcelona days Rosberg has set his fastest time on the same medium tyre as the Red Bull, he has finished ahead.

    As for Sutil, as far as am concerned, the seat is his for the doubts by the Force India shareholders towards Jules’ talent remain a sticking point and thus why Sutil is at Barcelona in the first place.

    In this instance experience and not necessarily speed will win the day.

  8. Irish con says:

    This waiting is starting to annoy me now. I need some sort of racing to watch. This testing is just teasing me. Looks like a very close at the front this year at this point. The developments that teams bring to the 3rd test is going to be crucial for the first few fly aways of the season.

    1. Chapor says:

      Know what you mean… I am actually going to watch the Daytona 500 on Sunday just for some kind of racing fix… lol

  9. goferet says:

    As for the point of the fast degrading tyres having a make over once we hit the warmer tracks, I don’t think I agree with Professor Mark Gillan and other F1 fans.

    I mean if this was the case then the drivers would have mentioned worrying about the tyres last year, in 2010 and during the Brigdestone years.

    But as you know, the only times the drivers have worried about too much degradation has been at the start of 2011 (when the Wonder kid was the only pilot to visit Pirelli’s factory) and this year.

    So yes, am siding with the drivers on this one, we’re going to see lots of pit stops again, thankfully, we won’t have Turkey for the infamous turn 8 is a real tyre killer.

    1. KGBVD says:

      What’s next? Drivers complaining about a certain track because they can’t figure out how to adapt their car to it? Hardly.

      These are big boys and can deal with the lot they are given. Particularly when Pirelli was instructed to provide said lot.

    2. Brace says:

      Turns out that it was all down to blown diffuser of course and other drivers could have visited Pirelli’s factory as much as they wanted to, Red Bull was still going to be the car to beat. :)

  10. KGBVD says:

    As quick as that McLaren appears, I still smell a four-peat and a very unhappy Spaniard.

    What’s Ben Franklin’s definition of insanity again?

    1. Peter says:

      “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

  11. Shane says:

    What an interesting year it would be if these test times were a true reflection of what the relative performance is, quite the re-shuffling from last year. I can’t wait to see them all run in anger in Melbourne!

    1. Wheels says:

      Hey, Shane!

      I’d say the thing to watch for, during this preseason, is not so much the bonsai, flying lap times, but the consistency in lap times over long runs with fuel loads.

      And, of course, reliability over those extended laps, along with, relative tire wear. i also like to watch how Team’s are dealing with their new car issues and how fast they make significant, progressive, steps in solving their overall test gremlins. That’s development pace.

      It’s been interesting how from day to day it’s McLaren whose clocked fastest, then Lotus the next day, followed by Red Bull the next day, then Mercedes and on…. Every team is fighting and scratching to make big steps in speed and race pace, it’s quite exciting.

      I wasn’t initially impressed by Ferrari’s long test runs, but now they seem to have cleared their earlier niggles and are right up there…. But your right, the green flag drops at Melbourne and I think were are in for a stunning surprise on pole!

  12. Siva says:

    Why don’t FI go with Sutil & Bianchi and drop Paul. Sutil is better than Paul and Bianchi brings money. :-)

    1. Timmay says:

      I would if I was the chief Indian

    2. Knoxville says:

      because unlike Paul, Sutil is a veteran.

    3. shri says:

      Paul DiResta matched Sutil in 2 years. Sutil got replaced with Nico Hulkenberg.

      Nico Hulkenberg in his 1st year ended much better than Paul DiResta. Why not give a chance to someone else (definitely not Sutil) ?

      That also begs a question – Is Paul DiResta that good ? DiResta has not blown the lights out in his 2 years and seems no superstar.

      1. Quick Nick Rules says:

        You’re horribly wrong mate – they were only together for a year and Di Resta certainly did not match him/ Sutil thoroughly beat Di Resta. Also, wasn’t Nico’s first year, was at Williams in 2010. Agree on Di Resta though, not seen anything from him that suggests he’s a superstar – The Hulk’s the real deal though, he should be sitting in a McLaren this year

    4. derschorsch says:

      True. Probably would be best. Paul was real good in DTM, but F1 just not seems to be his. 2. half of the ’12 season Hulk really put the Hammer down. Shame for Paul – he seems a nice guy – and I enjoyed watching him @ DTM.

    5. Simmo says:

      Is Adrian better than Paul? Sutil beat di Resta in di Resta’s debut year by just 15 points. Now that Paul has had a chance to improve (and has done so by more than 15 points), and Adrian has had time off, I’m not sure if Sutil is better.

      1. Quick Nick Rules says:

        Think they’re pretty well matched – a much stronger pairing than Di Resta and Bianchi would be – Don’t see Di Resta as being able to lead the team – by all accounts he is very unpopular, a lot of reports of him being sullen and stroppy – giving us dour miserable scots a bad name!

      2. Quick Nick Rules says:

        On second thoughts maybe it’s the Scots and Latin genes combining horribly – The Sullen nature of the Scots combined with the Latino stroppiness to make one monotonous yet sulky driver!

      3. Quick Nick Rules says:

        …truly the worth of boast worlds!

      4. Scuderia McLaren says:

        No, it’s just Paul Di Resta. Not the ‘mix’. The Franchitti’s have the same genetic mix but are fabulous people and sporting competitors. If you meet Dario or Marino, you’ll agree. Paul (their cousin with same blood mix) is just a bit of a self entitled kid, which would be fine in F1 of he’d dusted both Sutil or Hulkenberg. Last year chance for Di Resta before his big team dreams evaporate. If he does not comprehensively beat either Bianchi (rookie) or Sutil (returning), the emerging poor perception of Paul will become permenant. Pressure is on.

    6. Scuderia McLaren says:

      +1

      Have thought this also. Drop Di resta. He has not exactly set the world on fire in 2 years of having a solid seat in F1. Sutil and Bianchi would be a good match.

      Am happy Sutil is being given a second chance at F1. Without comment on the issue between him and Eric Lux, I do think that he deserved a second chance at his job.

    7. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      I think Sutil will be the driver and Bianchi the 3rd driver to be promoted in 2014, but of course I can be wrong.

  13. Witan says:

    I tried three times to ask this question on the Sky running blog but no answer, no nothing. Perhaps you have to be ‘one of the lads’ to get past the moderators?

    Anyway, the question is, do the new qualifying restrictions for the DRS use apply to all teams for testing? Or are the doing their own thing? If some do and other don’t all the chatter about times is immaterial, isn’t it?

    1. James Allen says:

      They have an agreement between themselves on limiting usage

      1. Witan says:

        Thanks very much indeed.

        So are they following the qualifying restriction, which I think is for just two sectors for DRS?

      2. Martin says:

        Webber made mention of trying to activate DRS in non DRS zones – but it wasn’t clear if the wing was opening. That is up to the teams as there is no requirement for the cars to meet all the regulations in testing – the crash tests must be passed, but I’m not sure anything else is prevented.

        You’ll need to know more about the headline times, such as on how many laps the driver did on the run and on which lap the time was set and then some other pointer whether it was a light fuel load to have any clue. A driver can easily drop 0.5 s with an error and a lack of commitment over a perfect lap. I also heard suggestions that Button’s fast time on hard’s in Jerez may have had a marginal line at a chicane. True or not with testing times, any shortcuts are not penalised. All the sensors, such as the pods on the roll hoops slow the cars down too.

  14. Richard says:

    I think the tyres are going to put the teams back into chaos at the start of the season while they get to grips with degradation. So potentially fast for a couple of laps and prance around like a pussy on a hot tin roof before they dive into the pits. Any real racing happening this year?

    1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      You can win with 4 pitstops!!!
      (if the others do 6 or 7…).

      1. Richard says:

        Well someone will obviously win, but as the others go further backwards than themselves. It’s an inverted F1 formula. – Not real racing!

  15. Carlos Marques says:

    No matter what happens when the real season begins the Red Bulls will find themselves at the front and everyone will start the old game of playing catch-up, ineffective upgrades, and “we’re focusing on 2014″ excuses. Watch.

    1. JR says:

      I do not think that is going to be the case. We shall see.

    2. Dave C says:

      Is that why Mclaren started last year with the fastest car followed by Lotus and Mercedes? your theory there is flawed, it even seems like Redbull are slow so far this winter, their big upgrade better bring them at least 1 second to stand a chance.

    3. mdmax says:

      i don’t think so, buddy. the red bull dream is over and out. ferrari is my pick for the title and domination this year. mclaren will be fighting with the bulls and lotus. while the fight between mercedes and sauber will provide the best entertainment of the season.

  16. Steve Zodiac says:

    Caterham seem to be woefully slow, very worrying, unless their new drivers are just crap!

    1. Simmo says:

      Well, Pic beat Glock who is good, so they’re probably just slow.

    2. Anne says:

      Charles Pic did very good last season in Marussia. I believe that Marussia is performing better this year. Or Max Chilton looks really solid in the car. However I see both teams far behind Toro Rosso, Williams,etc. I was expecting them to get closer to those in the midfield

    3. Zhenya says:

      Yeah, it looks like Caterham took over the role of HRT.

  17. oakrichardson says:

    I dont get this criticism over Di Resta, he is not a poor driver, and was beaten by Sutil in his rookie year by only a small amount. Last year he was beaten by someone who I believe to be one of the better drivers on the grid, so again not disgraceful. He is not slow, scores good points and hardly ever crashes, not something you find in many F1 drivers! What gets me is that people criticize over him saying he is disappointed not to have gone to a top team, show me a driver who doesn’t want to be in a top team, and I will show you a driver who shouldn’t be in F1! And about him beating vettel that year, he only goes on about it when asked! He does have a dull personality, but he is Scottish. I am not a fan boy, just tired of the constant slating Di Resta has gotten over the winter break, in some cases for no other reason then people want to stir some rubbish up.
    And anyway Bianchi is not exactly a step forward, not a bad driver, but not destined to set the world alight.

    1. Anne says:

      Yes but last season Hulkenber beat him and by many points. And The Incredible Hulk looked a lot more imprenssive with his driving than Di Resta.

    2. Rishi says:

      I was pondering (though tbf would probably have never written) a “Welcome to JAonF1 Mrs di Resta!”-type comment to this, but as I kept reading I realised I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written here! Good points well made!

    3. Antoine says:

      Er, how do you know Bianchi’s destiny all of a sudden?

    4. Dave C says:

      Put him in a Redbull now and Vettel would destroy him, Vettel that year was only 16 and not even a proper adult, but soon he proved everyone about his potential at China 2007 and of course Monza 2008, now has Di Resta ever shown these kind of performances in midfield cars? Nope.

    5. Elie says:

      How will we know if Bianci is not given a chance – every one of his tests even last year were very impressive . I would leave Paul in & give Bianci a go. !

  18. iGOR BdA says:

    And there goes Pirelli to spoil another season… Will we ever see proper racing tires being used in F1 again? I dread for the answer.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Slightly unfair I think, Pirelli have been asked by the F1 group for tyres that do degrade.
      Then everyone complains!

    2. Elie says:

      I completely agree with you – this 2/3 of a season ” lottery” is nonsense. They banned refuelling stops and now they’re aiming for 4- 5 tyre stops instead- seriously where is the sense in that..May the best tyre engineers win !- lets “improve the show” and tame the driver..here come the comments

    3. Justin says:

      No matter what the formula there will always be some limiting factor, this time it’s the tires, before it was fuel or engines. at every point in history there has been something that the drivers have to think about conserving while simultaneously racing. this is not a new thing.

      I’m not a fan of the DRS but these tires seem to be working, they’re aiming for 2 pit stops a race with there being a realistic crossover point where 1 or 3 stops could be faster. This is what the teams and the FIA asked them to do. I’d say that’s about right.

      Keep in mind that it is february, so it is much colder than it will be during the season so the tires aren’t really in their proper working conditions and are degrading faster than normally. Also Pirelli can make minor adjustments to the tires throughout the year if things get out of hand. The end is not nigh and the F1 sky is not falling, well at least not because of the Pirellis.

  19. Vinoo says:

    Poor Micheal!

  20. Bayan says:

    Hi James,

    Is Ferrari’s passive DRS similar to Redbull’s where it exits through the diffuser? They the extra opening behind the usual inlet.

    1. Martin says:

      To show much we weren’t paying attention, that inlet was also on the 2012 car. I only noticed it this year in photos comparing the this and last year’s cars. If I remember correctly the comment was that it provides an inlet for cooling the gearbox and also smoothes the effect the airbox has on the flow to the rear wing.

      1. Bayan says:

        I saw a picture where there seemed to be some channels going down the side for the rear wing to the diffuser. I think on formula1.com. That’s what made me think they have this kind of passive DRS.

  21. Fernando Piccione says:

    Hey James,

    I´m a Brazilian Die Hard F1 fan and just want to know what´s going on with Marussia and Luiz Razia , I thought he will be out there driving the car but, it just didnt happen.

    Do you have any info regarding this ?

    Thanks

    FP

  22. Danny says:

    Mercedes haven’t shown their hand yet. They seem to be very confident. I’m expecting a big improvement from Mercedes in 2013.

    1. Martin says:

      Just remember that Lewis said the Mercedes clearly has less downforce than last year’s McLaren. In race conditions this is less of an issue, but downforce is key to qualifying pace and that sets up the race. Mercedes may have big hopes for its upgrades, but is an ever moving target.

  23. JohnBt says:

    Guess we’ll have to wait for the first few races to see how soon will teams pit for new rubber. In 2011 the marbles left on the track were incredible and unbelievable though.

    In less than 3 weeks the first race commence, wonderful.

  24. ACx says:

    This tyre degradation lark. Im not that bothered by stories of loads of pit stops and one lap wonder tyres, I can live with that, but what of the resulting marbles all over the track? If its extreme, wont that badly effect overtaking?

  25. Craig in Manila says:

    So Pirelli are basically saying that their tyres don’t work well in cool/cold weather ?

    Did they tell the Teams this before the testing ? Or they’ve just discovered it now ?

    1. Martin says:

      It is nothing unusual for tyres to be temperature sensitive. Winter road tyres function much better in cold weather than standard summer tyres even if there is no snow. I’ll defend Pirelli’s competence in making race tyres in this instance, even if it is unknown exactly how it would go in competition with another manufacturer. The company is basically demonstrating it knowledge in how it can temporarily flummox the race engineers in F1.

      The exact nature of how the tyres degrade in cold weather can be guessed, but the only running these tyres have had has been on the 2010 Toyota and in Brazil last year, so it is not indicative. In Brazil the drivers liked the tyres.

      1. Craig in Manila says:

        Yup.

        I spose the underlying issue is : Why do testing in weather/temperature conditions that are not comparable to the conditions that will be experienced at the actual race weekends ?

        It’s a bit like practising your tennis on clay court when you know you will be playing on a hardcourt !

        Cheers.

      2. Random 79 says:

        A large part of it is that they’re testing in winter in the northern hemisphere. They have to test somewhere and I can understand why they’d want to stay in Europe, but chances are that at this time of year there’s somewhere else in the world where they could test with comparable temperatures to what they actually race with…but I’d be very surprised if that ever actually happened.

  26. Blog_Raider says:

    So if Lewis and Sutil are no longer “real life friends”, and one is holding a grudge against the other, does it mean that if Sutil gets the drive then there is potential for more brawls on the circuit???

  27. Anne says:

    James sorry this a little of topic. Did you read the comments Jenson Button make yesterday about the new McLaren?
    He sounded like they are having many problems with the car. I don´t think Jenson is the kind of guy who would play mind games with other teams.

  28. Jake says:

    Can we agree now that the Ferrari is competitive and that “the car is a truck” can’t be used to excuse Alonso’s poor performances.. ;-)

  29. JimT says:

    James, bit off topic but…

    I’ve always been anti Sky TV, but an finally going to bite the bullet and order it for this season. How about a straw poll, to see how many people got Sky for the F1 coverage? I’d be interested to know…

    J

    1. Tim says:

      I have had Sky for over 20 years – way back when the full package was about £7/month and F1 was on Eurosport. But that was the reason I got sky, as the BBC (prior to F1 going over to ITV and then back to BBC) did not show all the races live and Eurosport did.
      Personally,I think their coverage is excellent and best of all they don’t have Eddie Jordan and his ridiculous shirts!

  30. JeremySmith says:

    Thank you Robert for explaining that..

  31. Alex K says:

    Probably no one is reading this post anymore but anyway: I was reading a great article about Bruno Senna in Autosport and he came across as a real racer. One of the main points was him saying “wining is underrated in F1″ and I’m thinking actually driving is underrated in F1. Look at Sutil: I’m suprised he hasn’t made any real effort to race since he left F1. That would really trouble me as an D1 boss..

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH Scuderia Ferrari
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer