Posted on February 19, 2014


Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg went quickest on the first day of the second pre-season test in Bahrain as Red Bull Racing again hit trouble. Sebastian Vettel completed just 14 laps of the Sakhir circuit in the afternoon before a mechanical issue brought his running to a halt. The defending champions arrived in Bahrain hoping that work at its Milton Keynes base and at Renault’s HQ in Viry had cured the problems that restricted the team to just 21 laps in Jerez but day one Bahrain began in the same style with RB10 garage-bound until the afternoon. When Vettel eventually emerged More…

Posted on February 14, 2014


The first pre-season test in Jerez was a revelation in terms of who went well and who did not. One of the talking points to emerge was the gap in lap times set by this year’s cars and those set at the Spanish circuit last year. This year, McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen set the week’s fastest time with a lap of 1:23.276. In 2013, however, Felipe Massa went quickest, recording a lap time of 1:17.789 on third day of the four-day test. The more than five-second gap raised a few eyebrows but teams were quick to point out this year’s More…

Posted on March 10, 2009


I come away from the Barcelona test feeling that this is going to be a great season of racing, but in a very different way from the McLaren vs Ferrari battles of the last two years. The testing performances we have seen so far suggest that McLaren has, if not a mountain, then certainly a big hill to climb, while Ferrari, BMW and Toyota look very strong, one might almost say equally strong. If the performance we’ve seen here is carried over to the early part of the season, as it has been in recent years, then you could see More…

Posted on March 9, 2009


After several months of not hearing and seeing racing cars it was fabulous to come to the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona today and get up close to the 2009 cars. At the end of the day, all the drivers lined up for practice starts on the main straight and I could feel my heart thumping the inside of my rib cage, just as it was when the last engine was switched off in the pit lane in Brazil last November. All the teams are here and, although the 2009 cars take some getting used to with their ungainly front wings More…

Posted on March 3, 2009


Quick posting with some more chatter I’ve heard from Jerez. First is following on from my point yesterday about the poor weather the teams have had for their pre-season tests, apparently it now looks as though none of the teams will manage to reach the 15,000 kilometres of testing agreed for this year, in fact none is likely to get beyond 10,000 kms. The testing ban comes into force with the first race and lasts until the end of the year. Today in Jerez it was wet in the morning and dry in the afternoon, so quite a bit of More…

Posted on February 10, 2009


Today we had all but one of the current F1 teams in action on the race track and over the next few days the mists will start to clear and we will start to see who’s quick and also how much slower the 2009 cars are compared with last year’s cars. Renault, Williams, McLaren, Toro Rosso and Red Bull were in action at Jerez in Spain, while Toyota, Ferrari and BMW were in Bahrain. I’ve not seen the full set of timings for the test, only the headline laptimes and you have to be very careful reading too much into More…

Posted on February 9, 2009


The new Red Bull hit the track today, for all of 14 laps before being halted by a gearbox problem. Uh-oh. The gearbox was the Achilles Heel in 2007. Let’s hope that this is just a small teething problem. The car looks pretty cool, I like the long think nose and the experts seem to think that there is a lot of tidy detail there, showing that the extra time in the wind-tunnel has been well spent. The fact that Adrian Newey has been pushed into the foreground on this launch is interesting and tells me two things; first that More…

Posted on November 20, 2008


Life moves on. The story changes. UK papers pulled out of their tailspin over the recession and banking crisis once Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, Barack Obama and John Sargent gave them something else to write about and this week’s test at Barcelona has moved the F1 agenda on from memories of the dramatic finale in Sao Paulo. F1 is reinventing itself again and focussed on 2009. Revolution is the air, with radically different looking cars and technologies and some amazing ideas for spicing up the show, which take F1 away from much it has held dear for some time More…



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