Posted on March 7, 2014


Pirelli has released the schedule for the new 2014 in season testing plan, which will see each of the F1 teams given a day to test updates and new products to avoid a repeat of the problems, failures and disagreements of last season. Things reached a head last May when Mercedes and Pirelli conducted a test, which the other teams were not informed about, after the Spanish Grand Prix. This led to both parties appearing in front of the FIA’s International Tribunal. The panel of independent judges found blame to be equally shared between Pirelli, Mercedes and the FIA. Pirelli More…

Posted on March 3, 2014


The winter testing is over and now the teams have just over a week to prepare for the new F1 season which kicks off in Melbourne. It’s been clear throughout the three tests in Jerez and Bahrain with the radical new hybrid turbo power units that we are seeing a different competition in F1 from recent years with Mercedes looking strong and Red Bull struggling, but what is the pecking order going into the first race and what trends are there to consider? As ever, with the help and input of JA on F1 Technical adviser Mark Gillan, formerly chief More…

Posted on February 22, 2014


Nico Rosberg today brought the first Bahrain test to a close with a flourish, the Mercedes driver setting the week’s fastest time with a lap of 1:33.283. The only driver to break the 1min 34s barrier, Rosberg’s time was set on soft tyres in the midst of a sequence of fast short runs. The German also racked up the most laps on day four of the test with 89 tours of the Sakhir circuit. “We can be very pleased with the first test in Bahrain this week,” said Rosberg. “We completed a lot of mileage and learnt more about the More…

Posted on June 9, 2013


Next season will be the busiest on record for the F1 teams; a 21 race calendar is taking shape for 2014 while on Saturday in Montreal the Sporting Working Group approved a package of test days and aerodynamic reductions which are set to save money, while bringing back four test sessions. The package agreed by the SWC will now be put forward to the FIA World Motor Sport Council taking place on 28 June at Goodwood House, England. The package envisages the end of the Young Drivers test session, a reduction in straight line aerodynamic test days from eight to More…

Posted on March 1, 2013


Romain Grosjean made up for a poor first day of testing yesterday to top the times on the second day in Barcelona, ahead of Jenson Button and Pastor Maldonado. It was another day of mixed conditions as rain fell overnight and continued through to this morning, offering another opportunity to run the intermediate and wet tyres and gain a clearer picture of the perfect cross over point on to slick tyres. And this cross-over point occurred an hour prior to the lunch break, when the majority of teams took the chance to cover some dry miles beneath a threatening sky. More…

Posted on February 27, 2013


All eyes will be on Barcelona on Thursday when the 11 Formula 1 teams bolt on the definitive specifications of their new cars and target performance gains in the final four-day pre-season test before they head to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. On the evidence of the first two tests, this season is set to be another close run thing, with teams very close in terms of pace. Red Bull, who have won the constructors’ championship for the last three years, appear to be the frontrunners after eight days of testing, but they hold only a narrow advantage More…

Posted on February 21, 2013


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. More…

Posted on February 20, 2013


Sergio Perez showed that pre-season testing is in full swing today by going fastest on the second day at Barcelona with a time just shy of last year’s pole position, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Perez and Vettel both set their times during a one-lap run on the soft tyre, before switching their attentions to extended stints in the afternoon. Whilst Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton behind set their fastest laps on the medium and hard compound respectively, with Hamilton’s lap in particular likely to make the other teams raise an eyebrow as it was set during an eight More…

Posted on February 9, 2013


The first F1 test of the 2013 season at Jerez provided little in the way of concrete pointers for the season that lies ahead; we do not know who is favourite for pole in Melbourne yet. But one would not expect to at this stage, as it was only the first test and the cars will change a lot before the season proper starts again with Melbourne qualifying on March 16. Many of the cars started the week looking like 2012 models, but the wind tunnel models will look quite different already. However, it is possible to read some trends More…

Posted on February 8, 2013


Kimi Raikkonen ensured Lotus became the only team to top the times on two days at Jerez as the Finn set the pace on an extended final day, which required a long break to fix a pot-hole. The fourth and final day at Jerez had to be extended due to the appearance of a pot-hole between Turns 10 and 11, which caused a fifty minute delay and required quick-drying cement. To compensate, the teams were given an extra half an hour of testing time. Raikkonen set the second fastest time of the week to narrowly deny Force India’s Reserve Driver More…

Posted on February 6, 2013


Romain Grosjean continued Lotus’ strong form during this week’s first winter test by topping the times of Day 2 at Jerez, as the teams piled on the mileage, some covering around 100 laps while Lewis Hamilton’s opening day at Mercedes came to an abrupt end due to a brake failure. Hamilton had completed just fifteen laps this morning and had just done a lap in the 1m 19.5s, when a hydraulic brake line at the back caused him to run straight on at the Dry Sack hairpin and lightly in to the barriers. The back-straight leading in to Dry Sack More…

Posted on February 5, 2013


As the new F1 cars got down to business on the first day of testing in Jerez, Jenson Button and McLaren overcame an early on-track stoppage to top the time sheets by a considerable margin, ahead of Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean. But there were troubles for Mercedes too, as they were forced to cut the opening day short with electrical problems. Two red flags in the morning caused by Button and Nico Rosberg put the brakes on their respective programmes, with Rosberg the most hampered as Mercedes opted to call it a day and solve the issue before Lewis More…

Posted on September 12, 2012


Jules Bianchi continued to lead the way for the young drivers in action at Magny-Cours on day two of the test, although it was the appearance of a driver at the other end of the age spectrum that caught the attention today. With Mercedes using the test to try out some key developments for the remainder of the season – namely Coanda-style exhaust and passive double DRS system – Michael Schumacher arrived in the paddock in the morning to assess the upgrades first hand and speak to the team’s test driver Sam Bird, who remained in the W03 for the More…

Posted on September 11, 2012


Magny-Cours reverberated to the sound of Formula 1 cars for the first time in four years today as the second leg of the fragmented 2012 young driver test got underway for Ferrari, Mercedes and Force India. The circuit in the heart of France, which last hosted a grand prix in 2008 but continues to angle to stage a revived French GP in wake of improvements to infrastructure, was chosen by the three teams present as the venue for their permitted young guns running following concerns over the logistics of running the annual sessions in Abu Dhabi after the grand prix More…

Posted on August 23, 2012


The fragmented approach of the F1 teams to the traditional Young Guns F1 test was highlighted today when it was announced that three teams, Ferrari, Mercedes and Force India would hold their test at former French GP venue Magny Cours in the week after the Italian Grand Prix. This follows the decision by Williams, Marussia and HRT to do their Young Guns test at Silverstone last month to save money. In previous years the test has taken place at Abu Dhabi, following the Grand Prix. The Young Guns test is an opportunity to give young drivers a chance to taste More…

Posted on July 16, 2012


Marussia F1 team has issued a carefully worded statement today saying that after internal and external investigations into the accident at Duxford this month which hospitalised Maria de Villota, a technical problem with the car has been ruled out. John Booth, the Marussia team principal said, “We are satisfied that the findings of our internal investigation exclude the car as a factor in the accident.” Although the report does not say it explicitly, the implication is that the accident was down to the driver. De Villota, the team’s test driver, who had just completed the first straight line aero testing More…

Posted on May 1, 2012


The first day on in season testing since 2008 was a bit of an anti-climax today as heavy rain especially in the afternoon, spoiled the chance of much meaningful running or evaluation of development parts. Most of the running was done on either full wet or intermediate tyres. In the morning on a drying track the teams managed to cover some mileage, but in the afternoon the teams and drivers at Mugello in Tuscany competed only to see who could tweet the most graphic photographs of rain. At one point the cloud base was so low that the medical helicopter More…

Posted on April 30, 2012


The F1 teams are setting up in the garages of Mugello, near Florence, Italy today ahead of a three day test, which could prove something of a life saver for some of the teams who are in trouble at the moment. When it was announced that there would be an in-season test, for the first time since the Resource Restriction Agreement came into force at the end of 2008, it looked like it would be a very significant three days as it was the teams’ only chance outside of a race weekend; a chance to try development parts and to More…

Posted on March 5, 2012


The winter testing season is at an end; the next time most F1 teams will fire up the engines will be on Friday morning practice in Melbourne less than two weeks from now. And the picture that has emerged from testing is pretty much as it has seemed throughout the month of track action: Red Bull lead the way and are likely to fight against McLaren initially, while a group of four or five teams look quite close together on pace with Mercedes and Lotus at the head, Force India in the mix and Ferrari struggling. Ferrari has looked in More…

Posted on March 4, 2012


The penultimate day of testing before the start of the new F1 season saw a dramatic piece of theatre from Red Bull Racing, who had such a significant upgrade package they needed to ship out a new car to Spain. The real Red Bull RB8 stood up in the pitlane and now the opposition know what they are up against. And by leaving it so late, Red Bull have not given the opposition much time to study their design and copy it. Under FOTA single car testing rules, this required permission from other teams, which was granted and the car More…

Posted on March 2, 2012


Lotus driver Romain Grosjean set the pace again on Day 2 in Barcelona, setting the fastest time of the day in 1m 22.614, but he also managed 124 laps in the day including a race simulation which impressed onlookers. Grosjean said,”I’m very happy with the car, and it was great that we could still run strongly at the end of the session, even after a long stint.” Team mate Kimi Raikkonen takes over tomorrow in the car for the remainder of the test. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso managed the Scuderia’s first race distance simulation this afternoon, after Felipe Massa’s attempt yesterday. More…

Posted on March 1, 2012


The final pre season test got underway today in Barcelona. The test will last four days and its the last chance for teams to test new parts ahead of the first Grand Prix in Melbourne. Teams worked mainly on set up and in the afternoon many focussed on long runs when the track conditions were stable. Lotus has bounced back from the shock of missing last week’s test due to a chassis construction issue. Romain Grosjean set the fastest time of the day on a soft tyre run, ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button. After a difficult first two tests, where More…

Posted on February 28, 2012


This week in Barcelona the F1 teams will have their final chance to test the new cars before shipping them off to Australia for the first race, which is just over two weeks from now. The test starts on Thursday and runs to Sunday. It’s a crucial opportunity to put the planned development updates on the car which will be used in Melbourne and it should give us a clearer indication of who starts where at the opening of the season. It is however important to point out that there is likely to be a lot of movement from the More…

Posted on February 24, 2012


The second pre-season test drew to a close today in Barcelona with all the leading teams focussing on longer runs and not on setting headline lap times. The next test will be the one where we see the definitive Melbourne specifications and there is no doubt that for most teams there are some big updates coming. This is certainly true for Red Bull and McLaren, no doubt for Ferrari and Mercedes too. Mark Webber certainly hinted that Red Bull has some big changes in the pipeline, “We have a lot of work to do back in Milton Keynes over the More…

Posted on February 23, 2012


The penultimate day of the Barcelona test saw the Mercedes team complete a race distance on the new W03 car, which is quite impressive for a car which only began serious testing this week. Michael Schumacher was at the wheel in the afternoon to complete a simulation, featuring live pit stops. Mercedes say the car has now done a total of 1700 kilometres, with a few niggles, but on the whole it’s been pretty reliable. “We have definitely improved our game which is what we wanted to achieve,” said Schumacher. “To what extent, we can only see later, but I More…

Posted on February 22, 2012


Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull continue to be the team to beat as the F1 testing season reached the half way point today. I was trackside today in Barcelona, getting a first view of the 2012 cars in anger and sounding out the feeling of teams and engineers up and down the paddock. On Day two of the second of three tests, the Red Bull carried out a race simulation run in the afternoon. It wasn’t spectacular, which gave other teams some encouragement, but the car clearly works in all conditions and is fast and well balanced. It picks up More…

Posted on February 12, 2012


Fernando Alonso says he has already seen positive signs from the new F2012 that it is able to generate heat into its tyres more quickly than was the case with its predecessor – a key aim for the team this year. Ferrari has struggled with tyre warm-up – particularly on the hardest compounds, where general performance issues have also been a perennial problem – over recent years and over the winter hired Bridgestone’s former F1 chief Hirohide Hamashima to focus on improving the interaction between car and Pirelli tyres. Alonso certainly thinks progress has been made judging by what he More…

Posted on February 11, 2012


The first pre season test of 2012 concluded yesterday and although it’s too early in the game to draw conclusions on the pecking order in terms of outright pace, it is possible to look at what some of the front running cars managed in comparable circumstances. Here we will look closely at some comparisons. One of the headlines is that Pirelli have done an excellent job with the first stage of development of their tyres. Engineers and drivers alike are full of praise for them. The 2012 tyres are more durable and offer good grip. This was particularly evident when More…

Posted on February 10, 2012


Much had been made of Ferrari’s relatively low-key start to pre-season testing with the new F2012 but Fernando Alonso ensured everyone was talking about the new challenger in a more positive light today as he ended the final day at Jerez fastest of all. Red Bull, meanwhile, ran into their first reliability setback of the year after an electrical problem struck early on the RB8 to leave world champion Sebastian Vettel a spectator for much of the day, although he still finished third in the order. While issues with the F2012 meant Alonso himself completed only 39 laps, his early forays gave a first glimpse More…

Posted on February 9, 2012


Formula 1 has six world champions in the field this year and today three of them stepped out of their cars, having done the early test work while three others stepped in. It was the turn of Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton to get their first taste of the Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren respectively. Meanwhile Nico Rosberg came in for Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes and continued to set the pace; the German running the same 2011 specification car with the blown diffuser as the team builds up data on the new generation Pirelli tyres. Rosberg did his fastest time More…

Posted on February 8, 2012


In today’s second day of testing at Jerez ahead of the start of the 2012 F1 season it was Michael Schumacher who set the pace, following on from Kimi Raikkonen’s performance yesterday. This test marks the first occasion the pair have shared a race track since 2006, when Schumacher retired and Raikkonen took his drive at Ferrari. The seven times world champion was at the wheel of the 2011 Mercedes, the only top team not to bring its new car to the first test. After some early fast laps by Red Bull’s Mark Webber, Schumacher lowered the bar set by More…

Posted on February 8, 2012


Ferrari’s most aggressively-designed car for a number of years made its track debut at Jerez on Tuesday, and afterwards its designer explained the approach the team is taking to the opening test of pre-season. The F2012 features a number of wholesale technical departures compared to last year’s disappointing challenger, notably pull-rod front and rear suspensions along with fundamental changes towards the rear of the car. Although the team’s recent cars have proved disappointing, Ferrari has nonetheless often been consistently at the sharp end of the winter testing timesheets with its cars invariably proving reliable out of the box. On Monday More…

Posted on February 7, 2012


Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time at Jerez, as winter testing ahead of the 2012 F1 season kicked off in earnest. In total there were 11 teams running in Jerez, with only Marussia not present. Most teams were giving their new cars a debut outing, however both Mercedes and HRT were running 2011 specification cars. Both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher got a chance to run in the Mercedes today. Raikkonen wanted to start strongly and send out a positive message and he certainly did that; he was straight into the groove, after his two day outing in Valencia in More…

Posted on March 12, 2011


The final day of pre season testing was very wet, as predicted, giving teams the chance to sample Pirelli’s wet weather tyres, but gaining little other useful data. That’s it now for testing until after December- following the final race in Brazil. The feeling is that Red Bull has the edge going into the first race, with Ferrari close behind and Mercedes came through the ranks to close up quite a bit of the second deficit they had to the front runners at the final test. Nico Rosberg ends the week with a positive frame of mind after the improvement More…

Posted on March 11, 2011


The penultimate day of F1 testing before the start of the new season, saw a number of teams trying to give both drivers a run in their cars, with heavy rain forecast for tomorrow. Michael Schumacher at the wheel of the updated Mercedes set the fastest time of the test so far with 1m21.268s. The team has been bringing the new update parts to the car in stages this week with exhausts and various aerodynamic parts, including a new front wing, being added until today it ran in final spec for the first time. The results looked pretty good, not More…

Posted on March 10, 2011


Today was the third day of the test at Barcelona; with just two more days of running before the new season starts and the testing ban kicks in the pressure is mounting for teams to find set-ups, incorporate new updates and get their cars sorted. Track temperatures of over 30 were welcomed by Pirelli and the teams today. Meanwhile rain forecast for Saturday will not help the teams much, although it will be useful to Pirelli in learning more about the intermediate and wet tyres. Sergio Perez set a very quick time of 1m 21.761 on a qualifying simulation, the More…

Posted on March 9, 2011


On the second day of the final F1 test at Barcelona Sebastian Vettel went for a time, setting the benchmark in the high 1m 21s, some way clear of his opposition. Up to this point Red Bull have played their cards pretty close to their chest in terms of outright pace. Now the others have something to aim for. I said at the last Barcelona test that engineers had told me they felt the RBR car was capable of a high 1m 21 and today it happened. There is clearly a tenth or two more to come as the lap More…

Posted on March 8, 2011


The final test session before the start of the new F1 season kicked off today in Barcelona with most, but not all of the teams running today. Ferrari, Williams and Mercedes did not run and we have yet to see the new HRT car on track. Saturday will be the final day of F1 testing until after the end of the season in November. McLaren ran with a load sensing device on the nose of the car, with robust struts out to the outer parts of the front wing. This was a device to measure front wing flex and, given More…

Posted on February 19, 2011


On an interesting day’s running in the third official test at Barcelona, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull again came out on top and main rival Fernando Alonso was forced to admit that the world champion team look like they will start the season with an advantage. Vettel did a series of short runs culminating in a lap of 1m23.315s, which is 2.7s slower than the pace set in similar circumstances last February on day two of the Barcelona test – a combination of downforce lost from the double diffuser and the relative pace of Pirelli tyres compared to Bridgestones. Red More…

Posted on February 10, 2011


Eleven of the twelve Formula 1 teams were out on track today at Jerez for the start of the second official F1 test ahead of the F1 season. Only HRT was absent. The team has opted to take part in a Pirelli filming event in Italy rather that test alongside the other teams this week in Spain. Felipe Massa set the pace in the new Ferrari on the first of his two days in the car. He did not get as much mileage in the car as team mate Fernando Alonso in Valencia after an oil leak. The afternoon session More…

Posted on February 1, 2011


The winter break ended today with the first day of Formula 1 testing on the permanent circuit in Valencia ahead of the 2011 season and the top of the time sheets looked much as they did in November with Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel on top. In total eleven teams were running today, all except Lotus, whose planned programme in the new car starts tomorrow. Although world champion Sebastian Vettel set the pace today in the new Red Bull RB7, not all teams were using 2011 specification cars. Force India, McLaren, HRT and Virgin were using last year’s models, aiming More…

Posted on January 9, 2011


The start of F1 testing is just 23 days away and most of the teams are flat out getting their first chassis built. It’s an exciting time but also a nervous one. From talking to a number of teams this last week they all share an anxiety that one of their rivals might have come up with a silver bullet, this year’s equivalent of the F Duct – a must-have aero device which gives a good few tenths of a second advantage and all must copy. The ones they really fear are those built into the chassis, like McLaren’s F More…

Posted on February 25, 2010


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. 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 More…

Posted on February 25, 2010


The final official test starts this morning in Barcelona, with 11 teams out on track – all the teams competing this season except for USF1 and Campos. The four day test is the final chance for the teams to test out new developments before the first race in Bahrain on 14 March. The first two tests were largely about proving reliability, while the more advanced teams started to push the performance side a lot more in Jerez last week. For this week a wide range of new aerodynamic upgrades is expected. Teams like McLaren and Ferrari have produced significant packages More…

Posted on February 13, 2010


It rained on Friday in Jerez, in the afternoon it rained hard enough for the track to be empty for stretches of time. So two of the three days so far have been washed out. Saturday is forecast to be dry however. The same happened last year in the pre season tests, but this year it’s even more critical because there is so little track time available. For Virgin, Red Bull and Force India, who are running their cars for the first time it’s a frustrating week. Frustrating also for Nico Rosberg who somehow seems to have ended up getting More…

Posted on February 11, 2010


Today was the first dry day of running in the second official test of the pre-season. Ten of the 13 teams who will contest this year’s world championship were in Jerez on the second of four days. Forecasts suggest it may turn out to be the only dry day’s running at this test. After remarkable reliability in the first test at Valencia, today several teams lost time due to technical problems. The most extreme of these was Virgin Racing, which managed just 11 laps before the front wing came off. The team called a halt to testing for the day, More…

Posted on February 3, 2010


In front of a crowd of 40,000 fans at Valencia, Fernando Alonso had his first drive in a Ferrari today and set the fastest time of the week. On a historic final day of this first test, there were three world champions on track with Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button also getting a feel for the Mercedes and McLaren respectively. “It was an important day for me, first time in a Ferrari,” said Alonso. “A very emotional day this morning and also last night. I think I maximised the day in terms of laps and time on the track and More…

Posted on February 1, 2010


Today the new cars from seven teams hit the track and Formula 1 2010 really took off. Although there are still 40 days to go to the first Grand Prix in Bahrain, the new season kicked off in style with a frantic day of car launches and testing in Valencia. We had first sight today of new cars from Toro Rosso, Williams and the Mercedes W01, the keenly awaited follow up to the championship winning Brawn. Michael Schumacher took the wheel in the afternoon for his first laps in a contemporary F1 car since the end of 2006. Missing from More…

Posted on January 26, 2010


The Formula 1 test season starts next week in Valencia, the first of four official F1 tests before the opening Grand Prix in Bahrain on 14 March. We will be analysing the testing performances here on JA on F1, looking at how the cars are developing. And on Monday of next week, to co-incide with the first day of testing, we will be launching an exciting new service which will help to cover the action and bring the fans and the sport a little closer together. The tests are open to the public and it’s a very good value way More…



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