Ferrari happy that the new car is performing as expected
Scuderia Ferrari
Ferrari happy that the new car is performing as expected
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Feb 2010   |  12:37 pm GMT  |  238 comments

Ferrari technical director Aldo Costa says that the new Ferrari is on target as the numbers they got from the first track test this week in Spain correlated with the figures that they had from the wind tunnel.

"We are fast" (Photo: Ferrari)
Ferrari were on top throughout the three days in Valencia, largely due to running lower fuel loads the their main opposition, McLaren and Mercedes.

Close analysis of the lap times shows that Alonso was slightly faster than Massa at this first test, based on estimated, fuel corrected times. Alonso ran mainly 2009 levels of fuel, whereas Massa also spent a little time running the heavier 2010 fuel loads. Massa had two days to Alonso’s one. Both drivers reported a positive feeling with the car and it seems responsive to changes. It also seems to look after its tyres quite well.

Although Ferrari had faster lap times, McLaren ran more fuel all week and the feeling is that the McLaren may be a shade faster at this point.

Costa told Gazzetta dello Sport, “The overview is very positive. We covered 1,400km across all fuel levels also tried the new tyres (with a narrower front tyre) and started doing some set up and development work.

“All our wind tunnel and simulation numbers matched up with the ones from the track. We are fast, even if it’s too early to say how fast compared to the others. ”

In Jerez next week Ferrari will have its first development step, “Mainly mechanical things,” said Costa. “We will do a lot of set up work too. At the following Jerez test and again at Barcelona, we will have new aerodynamic steps.”

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This truly is my 1st visit on this site and I’m thrilled with your game titles blog! It would be awesome if you could possibly include things like a few more instructional game playing video clips; thanks a lot and keep up with the good efforts!


Allen,taking Felipe and Alonso times. Do you have in count the grip of the track? Because on Alonsos’s day test would be more gripping, so…and have the temperature too. It’s not jut about fuel load.



What is the power delivery for the Ferrari compared to the Mercedes ? I understand they were tinkering with engine and fuel.

If the Ferrari engine is not fast enough, just wait for Lou to make a big fuss and start talking of going to Le Mans and America



Hi James

If you ever need any data analysed and turned into meaningful information (such as this great piece of analysis you’ve done here), let me know.

I’m an experienced data analysed as my job and as ‘sad’ as it sounds enjoy doing it.

Wish F1 released more information in general to read into






Does anybody know why I can only see about 68 comments under the article, while it says there are 214?


Includes replies?


Based on JA commentaries over tests in Valencia here is my ranking of the teams’ speed taking into account the lap time in the light of the length of the runs:

1. McLaren: “Although Ferrari had faster lap times, McLaren ran more fuel all week and the feeling is that the McLaren may be a shade faster at this point.(..) Lewis Hamilton drove the new McLaren today for the first time. He did his best time on the fourth lap of a 20 lap run.”

2. Ferrari: “The Ferrari’s long run times look very consistent; Alonso did a 16 lap run in the late afternoon, which started out in the low 1m 13s and gradually came down smoothly and consistently to the high 1m 11s”

3. Sauber: “The BMW Sauber has been very consistent all week, with both Kobayashi and De la Rosa setting times in the low 1m 12s on largely short runs of 8-10 laps at a time.”

4. Renault: “(Kubica) He set his best time today on the second lap of a three lap run.”

5. Mercedes: “(Rosberg) He did several longer runs, but set a best time of 1m 12.899 on the fifth lap of a six lap run.”

That is all I learnt from Valencia from JA.




Firstly, thank you for providing us with the most fresh and reliable news in these fast-changing, news-flashing days of the sport.

As a Schumi fan & a Brawn admirer, i was a bit disappointed by Merc’s poorer results for the first couple of test days, compared to those of Ferrari’s. So i have to admit that i’m a bit relieved by your comment here that they ran on low fuel and that Merc’s new car has not been demonstrated fully yet, and developments may follow before Jerez. I do hope Merc will be a strong championship contender this year, especially with all the nostalgic elements it has..

Finally, i came across a very detailed and probably the first ever F1 Global Fan Survey this evening. It covers many different aspects of the sport and i think would be a good audience feedback, so i would like to share it with other readers here, in case people may not have heard of it:

Take care until Jerez next week..


That is not an image I want n my head. Tell they won’t all be in leotards!


Hi James, can you say if you heard any similar rumours to whats be posted on a French website that Ferrari and Sauber were running 30kg lighter due to missing balast?


We don’t need confirmation. It is fact that Ferrari not only had less fuel but was also underweight.


I haven’t seen one credible source that states they ran under weight, nor is there any logic to it.


It is possible. You don’t need to run your car to the regulated weight during testing.


Hey James,

Have you heard Fisi is racing in the LeMans Series this season?


No Comment, just enjoying so many interesting and often superbly intellegent blogs, The wait is frustrating isn’t it?


All I hope for is the WDC is taken on the last race. Much more thrilling. Comments posted on the first test have covered most if not all the possibilities. Now look forward from Wednesday to Saturday next week. Isn’t it fulfilling to see the lap times of your favourite drivers and teams. 35 days to raceday!


So long as this is how it plays out fairly and not by more dodgy dealings and decisions (like the winner at Spa – Hamilton – having his win taken away) by the FIA ❗


Too right, I hope that we see real daring and fair racing in 2010 with NO FIA interference (fat chance of that if the FIA’s choice is not performing well or McLaren in particular are streets ahead).

The horrible Mosley years where dodgy rulings by the FIA were the norm, I hope will never be allowed to be repeated not least by FOTA if needs be but better still by the FIA being managed with both integrity and above all else with total honesty.


hear hear …


James, do you think Mercedes are in “real” trouble or is there a chance that Schumacher and Brawn are just playing down their chances?

Last week it seemed that Mercedes was running with the old 09 front wing and diffusor and also the exhaust cover would not be legal if the Bahrain GP starts tomorrow. Looks like they´re hiding something?


No I don’t. They are in the hunt with McLaren and Ferrari, perhaps a shade slower after the first test. They went to Valencia with a not particularly fully developed car and I reckon that they will have a major planned update at the second Jerez test or the Barcelona test. It also allowed Schumacher to play himself back in.


I don’t thing Brawn, now Mercedes have the strength in depth that both McLaren and Ferrari have and neither do they have an Adrian Newey and as such will likely fall behind these three in 2010.

What Brawn achieved last year was a result of probably the most expensively designed F1 car in history by some fair margin and in my view had the double diffuser been found against the spirit of the rules as the rules intended there is no way they would have kept pace with the established top two or the ever emerging Rebull.

The fairytale story of 2010 was nothing of the sort although to the non F1 fan probably reads as one.

Brawn is both an excellent manager and super tactician but he’s no Newey and the team he manages is not Ferrari or McLaren so maybe this year we’ll see what he’s really made of though I suspect any failings will be put down to their lead driver (in my view, make no mistake Schumacher is certainly seen that way) being in his 40’s ❗


Not if it had 70 laps of fuel in it…


He’s only in danger of loosing his head if other teams keep droping suspension parts on the track in front of him.


He’s dealt with the worst championship defeat and dealt with sevre injury.

Felipe Massa is made of iron.


but springs are made of steel…

Steel – 1

Iron – -0


Yeah! Massa deserves to win, he’s great! A great driver and a nice guy, but also a fighter. Would be so great to see him taking the WC in Brazil. He would go bananas, and the place would explode! Fingers crossed 🙂


Dont’t recall saying it was funny?


Im treating this with caution, Ferrari have done very well in tests in the past only to have problems as the season starts. Most teams have weapons that they will only show up once the season starts or in the final stages of tests. Some teams want to get down to work and wont be going for times to avoid unnecessary headlines’.

of course, i would be happy if Alonso dominates all tests, I have become a veteran of watching and observing Formula 1, i know things change very fast in this part of the world.

Even if Ferrari does get a head start in the opening races, traditionally, if you have a rapid upgrade programme, you can easily leapfrog the main team.

The biggest question is who will feel alienated and the expectations they had for the season once the dusts settles in the season?


Hi my apologies for this being somewhat off-topic but I haven’t been able to find an answer elsewhere. What are the testing regulations regarding private shakedowns? Ferrari were scheduled to shakedown prior to Valencia and Virgin are now at Silverstone. Are the teams allowed to do any testing outside of the group tests in Spain?


I believe it’s 100km


I have to wonder? What happened when the McLaren and Mercedes were running on low fuel. If you do 50 laps continuously by the 49th lap you will be running on low fuel, right?


Yes, but by then the tyres are shod so that’s another variable that comes into the equation.


Yes, you are, but also, worn tyres….

Tyres are the single biggest performance factor that differentiates F1 cars. Look at the races where peoples tyres go off, or work well when others do not. Lewis at Silverstone springs to mind.

Has James or anybody else got any clues at all as to how the different cars will perform at a “more typical” F1 circuit, or is it still really total guesswork ?

An awful lot of Internet keyboard heroes seem to be able to divine the speed of a car on the basis of a swoopy looking front wing, I am a bit nerdy and just like the numbers….


Just curious – is there a science behind managing tyres? Can a driver be taught the skill of tyre management?




Yes – but with shot tyres. Fuel is a massive factor but tyre wear will create a cross over effect on performance. In true race situation, the cars will probably be fastest near the end of their runs BUT not at the end of their runs. And of course – some cars and some drivers will look after their tyres better and this effect will be greater with them


Well, the tests at Jerez may not have covered that – they had a programme to follow and they may have decided that it was not part of the programme (for example, they may be aware that there is some modification in the pipeline that will make full aero testing pointless) so they are interested in tyre wear and basic car performance.

Although as you say, you get to the end on low fuel, there is the question of what damage you have done to the tyres to get to that 50th lap. So although you might optimise performance at low fuel loads, you might never get to use that performance as your tyres are shot. I would guess that high load optimisation would pay more dividends, giving the low fuel configuration more grip to play with.

Of the changes that the refuelling ban brings, Renault commented that during safety car they now need to dump fuel rather than save it – look for smoke and flame during safety car. Not very green that, aye?


Ah, but your tyres have also done those fifty laps… not so fresh, and not so able to take advantage of the lower fuel…

That’s why tyre strategies will become focus points, because everyone will have the same fuel amounts (or at least percentage of full tank), and it’s how the tyres are used and changed to take advantage of when fuel gets lower, that may change a race in a driver’s favour…


I’m backing Massa for the title but my only worry is that he might lose his head if Alonso keeps beating him every race.

There’s no doubt he’s brilliant at Bahrain, Turkey and Brazil. But I feel he has to improve on tracks like Australia, Malaysia, Silverstone and Monza, just to name a few, where he never seems to go well.

Be good for formula one if Massa comes back from injury and wins the world championship.


I think Massa could cope much better with losing to Alonso, than Alonso would to losing out to Massa. Massa was in a team with Schumacher, and was beaten to the WC by Kimi in his 1st year. I think he has matured a lot though, showing a lot of character after losing out to Lewis in Brazil. I think as he isn’t used to being no.1 and winning all the time, he’s one of the strongest drivers out there mentally. Alonso hasn’t always shown good sportsmanship in the past…

My buck is on Massa, who is also one of the nicest down-to-earth guys in the field, along with Vettel.


I think Massa is the strongest of Schumacher’s former team mates. He may have been number 2 to MS but he definitely gave him a run for his money and beat him severally – you have to admit he somewhat performed better than Barichello in that role.


Massa beating Hamilkton/Alonso/Schumacher or Vettel ❓ No way Hosay 😆


I totally agree…


If “Alonso keeps beating him every race”, he won’t win the the then, could he…???


* Title


James, I wonder if you could create a poll where your regular readers have to put their vote in for who will become WDC in 2010? You only needs 6 options: Vettel, Webber, M Schumacher, Hamilton, Alonso, Massa.


We did that last week. But there will be more opportunity for predictions soon


James could you pass an opinion on this: are al those testing so far showing their full hand re their rear diffusers?

If I were McLaren for example knowing they have a very high tech design I’d be keeping a little of this for the last test so to steal a march on the others.


There are a lot of steps planned for the remaining tests and the first GP. I also think there will be steps between Bahrain and Oz this year.


If my understanding is correct it is the rear diffuser that will take the longest to copy should one team or another have a design which is clearly superior ❓

I understand the point made as if a team believed they do have an edge on this they would be best to hide it until the last possible moment, maybe even waiting for the first race practice as it could only improve whatever times that team was setting during their normal test runs.

I for one have looked at a lot of this years car photos but as yet have not come up with any really good ones of the new cars rear section, I’d bet whatever RebBull come up with will be pretty interesting in this area.

I also thing we will see this year that neither Brawn or Schumacher are supermen after all with other teams and drivers leading the way. The dream team at Ferrari was just that a whole team now it’s just Brawn and an ageing Schumacher and even he won’t beat father time ❗


What about the A3-holed diffuser Ferrari was going to get from a recently employed ex-Toyota man? Any news on that, James?


That’s for last test/Bahrain I heard


Thanks, man. 🙂


Looks like everybody has a secret weapon for Bahrain – at least that is what has been said about Ferrari and Mercedes. So what is McLaren’s secret weapon?


James, are you aware that have been using some off your quotes for their features this week with regards to testing.

Got to be happy with that eh… you heard it here first and all that….!


Thanks for that


Now that most of the top teams have put a stake in the ground and corrolated their windtunnel/CFD data, I wonder will there be any significant changes to the cars next week?

I’m sure I read somewhere (probably here!) Ross Brawn stating the car they run in Valencia is just a rough draft and the polished version won’t be seen until the first free practise in Bahrain.

If I was a betting man I wouldn’t have the faintest idea who to back at this moment. Good luck to the any bookmakers reading this!

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