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Three teams confirmed for Jerez, but how many more will join them?
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Williams and Caterham
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Jan 2014   |  5:30 pm GMT  |  84 comments

Three teams have confirmed they will attend the first pre-season test of 2014 in Jerez, which starts on 28 January, but the suggestion is that there might not be too many more joining them.

Mercedes, Caterham and Williams will be in Spain for the four-day test, as they look to gain crucial mileage with their new cars following a big change to the regulations.

Williams, who used their old 2012 machine at the first test last year, tweeted that they have begun building their new FW36 this week ahead of Jerez.

However, it seems many other teams are facing a race against time to get their cars ready in time, with the Spanish test just over two weeks away.

Lotus have already said they will miss the test, instead aiming to have their 2014 challenger ready for the first of two tests in Bahrain next month.

Speaking to Reuters, Marussia sporting director Graeme Lowdon said his team are “planning to be there” in Jerez, while Sauber’s Adrian Sutil said he would be at Jerez – but neither has confirmed their plans. Toro Rosso’s Danil Kvyat has also said he will be in Jerez.

It comes as the FIA has called a meeting with the teams’ sporting directors in Geneva today to discuss a number of issues.

There are still plenty of rules which are up in the air such as the issue of double points awarded at the final race of the season, which will be the subject of a further meeting of the new F1 Strategy Group.

With a little over 60 days until the first race, there’s the sport’s governing body and the teams have a lot of work to do before the lights go out in Melbourne on 16 March.

*In other news, Williams announced three new signings to its engineering team for the coming season.

Jakob Andreasen joins from Force India to take up the role of head of engineering operations, working to chief technical officer Pat Symonds.

Craig Wilson returns to the team from Mercedes to take up the role of head of vehicle dynamics while Rod Nelson joins from Lotus to become the chief test and support engineer.

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84 Comments
  1. Andrew M says:

    Did Rod Nelson used to be Fernando’s race engineer at Renault?

  2. goferet says:

    Yes, it was Brawn that said last year that anybody that hadn’t begun work on the 2014 cars a year ago maybe in trouble.

    So all those teams with the small budgets and limited staff maybe reconsidering their options for why go to Jerez only to sit in the paddock.

    Now considering Mclaren wrote off 2013 early on, am very confident the team is more than ready and will join the others at Jerez

    For sure, 2014 is turning out to be a major event and the teams with the most technical staff under one roof will be the ones to cope the best, I think, as they’re able to stretch their resources far and wide.

    P.s.

    Am not 100% sure if this means anything but the lights will go out in Melbourne on the exact date as 2008.

    1. Random 79 says:

      “Am not 100% sure if this means anything”

      Never stopped you before ;)

    2. Laurence H says:

      I’m 100% sure that it means nothing.

      :-)

    3. Glennb says:

      Melbourne have recently upgraded its electrical grid. I have it on good authority that the lights will indeed be on in 2014. They have an electrician and a step ladder on standby, just in case ;)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Slight misunderstanding, I suspect intentional :)

      2. Glennb says:

        You got me ;)

      3. Auski says:

        Power only went out on the internaitional feed not half of melbourne as was reported. 10 Australia had no issues

  3. Tony Hedley says:

    Looks like testing isn’t as highly thought about as we were lead to believe by the teams complaining about Mercedes’ “secret tyre test”

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Just because teams choose not to attend a test doesn’t make it okay for teams to cheat and have a secret test.

      1. Phil Shotton says:

        That they had told everyone about, discussed with the FIA and then got told of for having.. ;)

      2. Voodoopunk says:

        I think “everyone” is stretching it slightly.

      3. Stickymart says:

        Except that the test wasn’t secret.

      4. Tyemz says:

        “Just because teams chose not to attend…”
        Makes it easier to believe Pirelli when they said teams were told about it but nobody cared except Mercedes. Sour grapes.

      5. Voodoopunk says:

        “Makes it easier to believe Pirelli when they said teams were told about it but nobody cared except Mercedes”

        On what planet does it make it easier to believe?

    2. MattDS says:

      You think there are teams that are ready with the car and have the cash but deliberately choose not to take part in the testing?

      Testing is important. All teams know this. Some are strapped for cash though, and some might not be ready.

  4. Sri says:

    It is weird that many teams do not even have the launch dates for their cars which I’m eagerly looking for.

    As far as I remember, only Mercedes, McLaren and Caterham have finalized their dates as of now.

  5. Anil Parmar says:

    James, I’ve heard some rumours that Renault are having problems with their engine (particularly the turbocharger) and as a result they may not be able to get their engine ready in time.

    Any truth to this?

    1. Random 79 says:

      If that were true then Caterham wouldn’t be able to make the first test.

      There’s a rumour that the Renault engine won’t be ready, there’s a rumour that Ferrari are nowhere with theirs, and there’s a rumour that the Mercedes engine has chronic overheating issues.

      Apparently all the new F1 cars will be pedal powered :)

      1. Anil Parmar says:

        Ah ofc, how could I forget the engine thay caterham use! Silly me.

      2. Andrew M says:

        That must be why Alonso is always tweeting about how far he’s cycled that week – it’s not to keep the fans informed, it’s telemetry data.

      3. Chris H says:

        :-))

    2. Wade Parmino says:

      Oh boy I hope there is plenty of truth to it.

      1. Voodoopunk says:

        Why is that?

      2. Wade Parmino says:

        Why, it’s the engine Red Bull use. I really do not want to see Vettel continue to win all the time. If there is reliability issues with the engine then there will be more of a chance that he doesn’t dominate. Would be unfortunate for Ricciardo though, and Grosjean/Maldonado. But if that’s what it takes…

      3. Voodoopunk says:

        @Wade

        So you want someone else to win it easily, without full competition?

        You don’t think that would detract from the win in any way?

  6. NickH says:

    All the big boys will be there, no doubt about it. I just can’t imagine Red Bull, Ferrari and Mclaren not being there.

    Amusing to read Kimi was in the Ferrari simulator today, we all know how much he dearly loves them!

  7. Random 79 says:

    A bit of surprise that some of the bigger teams might not be ready, but an even bigger surprise the Caterham will. Have they finally got their collective heads screwed on?

    1. Chapor says:

      Not to mention the fact that they haven’t even confirmed their drivers yet…

      1. Random 79 says:

        Insiders tell me their drivers will be Mr. Moneybags and Richy Rich.

      2. Ed says:

        Maybe they are going with drone cars?

      3. Random 79 says:

        If you believe the hype all the cars are going to drone.

  8. Richard says:

    So there is no news/confirmation yet about McLaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull?

  9. Erik says:

    I’m wondering how useful a test in Europe in Jan really is. Aren’t teams going to encounter the same problems as last pre season?

    1. Glennb says:

      Yep, and Pirelli will gain next to zero useful tyre information > again.

    2. eff1osauraus says:

      Well, we couald always lobby the teams to come to SA and drive around Kyalami…

      ok, so it’s not the ICONIC Kyalami of the 70′s and 80′s, but F1 has a HUUUUGE following here, and you have hordes of spectators who haven’t seen an F1 car since 1993.

      Besides, if Pirelli REALLY wanted to do some testing in hot conditions, then the Highveld in summer is where to do it…temps average between 25 and 32 Celsius, so it’ll test engine reliability too…

      1. Gareth says:

        Wouldn’t that be fantastic!

      2. DingBat says:

        Fantastic would be the understatement of the year if that ever happened! Alas, we can only dream….

      3. Random 79 says:

        You call 25 to 32 hot?

        Head down here, we’ll show you hot :)

      4. Wade Parmino says:

        Are you WA or eastern states? In Perth it’s been over 40C recently. If the cars ran in those temperatures the tires (especially the supersofts) would last literally 2 laps. :)

      5. James Allen says:

        I remember temperatures in the low 40s in Bahrain in the first few years. The cars ran ok

        Mind you, getting the cooling right on these new turbos is a real challenge

      6. Random 79 says:

        I’m in SA Wade, but I get the impression it’s been pretty much 40 everywhere except Tassie.

        Still, could be worse: Highest I’ve seen and been in personally is 49.

      7. pepe-le-pew says:

        I can just see it now JZ and Bernie negotiating the race hosting fee, the taxpayer will have to cough up 3 kidneys just to secure the race, and a few more to upgrade kyalami, no thanx for a race in south africa. (Think abwt hw BEEG the Fire Pool for the project would need to be).

      8. Eff1osaurau says:

        ah yes, a fellow Saffa…

        how true. I think the race fee has been one of the big issues in getting a race here, besides the fact that Kyalami is but a shadow of its former self…

        if we only need to cough up 3 kidneys, i’ll gladly donate one…sadly, what you say is true…the Rand SUCKS against the dollar, so add a few zeroes when converting the race fee into our currency, and also, motorsport is not a priority here…

        The Red Bull at Killarney in Cape Town and the blast up past Table Mountain was something to behold…

        Gareth, its a wonderful dream isn’t it? Alas, i shall now have to stop smoking my socks and work a bit…

    3. Alex says:

      Isn’t that why teams are having two tests in Bahrain? I guess the first test is in Europe as it close to base for all the teams; they have quick and easy access to parts and other resources when we get all the predicted unpredictability as the new cars run for the very first time.

  10. Andy says:

    With such a major change to the power unit one would think that every team would strive to be there. The fact that the track surface of Jerez is not that representative, so teams won’t learn that much from the Pirelli tyres is irrelevant. It’s 4 days of running to iron out all of the gremlins and therefore maximise their running at the next two tests.
    I can’t see how any team thinks that by missing the first test, their season won’t be affected as a result. Surely reliability will be a key factor this year, and that involves running and problem solving. Reducing your opportunity by a third can’t be good, and I struggle to understand any team’s reasoning for not attending.

    1. Dave Emberton says:

      Power units can run race simulations in the factory, and perhaps if the cars aren’t quite ready then all they’re doing by attending the test is having the same early problems in public that they could have eliminated in private.

      And if cooling turns out to be a major issue, cold Jerez in January isn’t much of a representative test.

      On top of that, we have some in-season testing this year, making this one test less significant overall.

      1. Andy says:

        Running a power unit on a test bed is one thing, actually running it in a car is something else. Add to that the energy recovery aspect, which you can simulate, but reality is found on track. Don’t forget that with all his CFD computing power, Nick Worth was incapable of calculating the size of a fuel tank.
        Assuming Lotus are using Renault, I imagine their delay is due to Renault wanting payment, nothing to do with what they want to keep private or in public.

    2. pepe-le-pew says:

      Lack of money, not by choice.

      1. Andy says:

        That’s my assumption, the majority had publicly stated they had stopped 2013 development early. Apart from a lack of money or poor management, there is no excuse for not being ready

      2. Dave Emberton says:

        No team has infinite money. It comes down to a decision of cost vs benefit, as engineering always does, and given what Lotus achieved last year with far less than the top teams, you’d have to say they’re rather good at that.

        The car doesn’t need to be “ready” until Australia. Being ready early is evidence of poor management, as the time could have been used more effectively.

      3. Wade Parmino says:

        I just cannot fathom how a reputable team like Lotus (Enstone) can’t find enough sponsorship. With all the ridiculously rich people there are in the world (there’s surprisingly more billionaires around than one might think) as well as companies of all sorts of industries and businesses.

        For example, Chad Hurley (co-founder of YouTube) is apparently very enthusiastic about Formula 1. He was associated with USF1 which for rather vague reasons did not end up running. If I had a couple hundred million to spare, Lotus looks like an excellent investment. Even on limited resources and money they can compete at the top, so imagine how well they could go with full on backing and support.

        It beggars belief that an adequate investor/sponsor can’t be found.

    3. Tim says:

      +1
      I agree, can’t see why a team would choose not to attend. Assuming their car is ready of course!

  11. Quade says:

    2014 is beginning to look more and more like Russian Roulette.
    This is engineering on the very edge – any team that can make it through the first half without a significant number of breakdowns will be strong enough to launch its very own Lunar mission by seasons end.

    1. timothy clarke says:

      that’s a great comment, Quade. i’ve read that the computing power to run a Lunar mission is nothing to what’s required to win the WCC!

      1. MattDS says:

        I’m sure there’s quite some computing power at NASA (or the likes). Designing spacecrafts for sure needs highly potent material, same goes for simulations.
        However, the stuff that goes into the actual spacecrafts is very basic. If I’m not mistaken Intel is still producing 386 processors, because those were used in the Space Shuttles, and still are in the ISS, and Hubble runs on 486′s.

  12. shri says:

    Do the teams have to announce that they are coming ?

    1. timothy clarke says:

      no. but for some reason, my girlfriend does.

      1. Bryce says:

        Because it doesn’t happen very often, she likes to let you know when it occurs :-)

      2. Red Leader says:

        Probably, warning you in case you keel over with shock ;)

      3. Random 79 says:

        10 points just for making it past the mods :)

      4. Tim says:

        I noticed that as well !

    2. Glennb says:

      Pirelli would probably like to know ;)

      1. Eff1osaurau says:

        what, that tim’s gf is coming or the teams are coming LOL…

        maybe i shoulod get a pirelli shirt and play “f1 test” with my wife and have her don my Ferrari shirt..

        i pretend to work for a tyre companym doing some “in season testing” and she announces when she’ll come…

        imagine if Pirelli made condoms…brilliant for the first few minutes and then utter rubbish requiring at least two pitstops for changes…

        sorry…Tim’s comment just opened up waaay to many doors LOL

      2. Random 79 says:

        Just make you you don’t explode before she…nevermind…

  13. Adrian J says:

    James, Gary Paffett confirms in this interview with Sky Sports that McLaren will be in Jerez as well:

    http://www1.skysports.com/f1/news/12479/9113179/exclusive-qa-gary-paffett-discusses-how-mclarens-2014-car-is-developing

    1. Phenom says:

      Yes, McLaren announced that they would be at the test some days ago when they confirmed the car’s launch date James.

  14. Jenks says:

    I’m concerned for Lotus. Would Renault have given them some 2014 engine dimensions, so they could work on the car before an engine deal was finalised?

    1. toleman fan says:

      They’ve got enough data to design the car with.

      And they committed to designing the car around the Renault powerplant a -long- time ago, even though the commercial contract is still not agreed.

      I don’t know if they -ever- looked seriously at switching, but if they did, they abandoned the idea (at least for 2014) many, many months ago if not longer.

    2. Superseven says:

      Have Lotus paid anyone yet?

      From what I’ve read, the list of debtors includes Renault, the FIA, Kimi, Davide Valsecchi, and goodness knows who else. On top of that, I read news today that their CEO just quit.

      The chances of Lotus being on the grid for Melbourne appear to be plummeting on almost a daily basis at the moment.

  15. Warren G says:

    First test will be little more than a shakedown to see if everything works as expected. Jerez isn’t representative at all but it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time going, so I wonder if any teams who do skip are just trying to hide something they believe will give them an edge. After all, it’s a long time from 1st test to 1st race and plenty time to copy an obvious solution that’s better.

    1. Colombia Concalvez says:

      No it’s not a show down, you need to have KM on your car and iron out problems that may occur. The priority is working on reliability mate, especially with new rules like in 2014.

  16. Pete says:

    I recall Redbull missing the Valencia test in 2010 so the big teams do miss them. That said this year is a new ballgame.

    Tickets booked for Melb. Can’t wait to see the quali :)

  17. Timp says:

    No matter who shows up, we might not like what we see. There are rumors going around that the platypus nose has been replaced by the anteater nose.

  18. Isaac says:

    Hi James,

    How do I contact you personally? Do you have an email address? Thanks!

  19. Michael says:

    James do you have any information relating to ferrari apparently running their 2014 engine (video going around) or any others testing their engines?

    1. James Allen says:

      There seems to be some evidence that they have run the engine in a modified road car around Fiorano

      1. Michael says:

        Surprised this has not been more widely reported giving the significance if true. They would be gaining valuable knowledge considering the huge technical challenge these engines are. I must say that if indeed it is the new engine it sounds fantastic.

      2. Superseven says:

        In these days of supposedly limited testing, how legal is that?

        What stops them wrapping the F1 car in a road car outer shell and putting in tons of laps?

      3. Peter says:

        No legal problem with engine testing. After all they are all bench tested, probably to destruction, anyway. And if you wrap an F1 car in a road body then you have no F1 aerodynamics. So what are you actually testing? certainly not your new car.

      4. Eff1osaurau says:

        I’ve also heard that they’ve been running the engine in a modified LaFerrari at Nurburgring…

  20. Alex says:

    I wonder if all of the teams will be ready for Melbourne, let alone the test.

  21. Peter says:

    I always look forward to Melbourne, wish I could go there at least once but GP’s outside Europe are beyond my time/money budget.

    But, Melbourne 2014, I’m REALLY looking forward to!
    1:- Who has a fast car?
    2:- Who has made the best driver choice?
    3:- Who will make it to the end of the race?

    Bring it on!

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