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Massa fastest again on Day 2 in Valencia
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Massa fastest again on Day 2 in Valencia
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Feb 2010   |  7:07 pm GMT  |  92 comments

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa again set the benchmark times the the first F1 test of the new season at Valencia and there were high mileages all around as everyone covered around 100 laps of the circuit in the day.

Picture 57
On his second day in the car he lapped in 1m 11.722s on the first flying lap of an 11 lap run early in the day. This is just 7/10ths off the fastest time at the circuit set in 2008. Massa didn’t do any particularly long runs today, most were 18 laps or less. The Ferrari managed another impressive haul of 124 laps to take the car’s total to 900 kilometres for the test to date. Tomorrow he will hand the car over to new team mate Fernando Alonso.

Second fastest for BMW Sauber was 2009’s standout rookie Kamui Kobayashi, who also set his time early in the day on the fourth lap of an eight lap run. “We had no problems with the car and covered a lot of mileage. The car felt good, ” he said.

Nico Rosberg did 119 laps in the new Mercedes but still complained of not being comfortable in the car. He did several longer runs, but set a best time of 1m 12.899 on the fifth lap of a six lap run.

“I’m quite happy with how the car felt on the longer runs with heavy fuel, ” he said. “It felt like the same car, just a little bit slower, but the balance was good. We’ve still got some work to do on my position in the car as I dropped down by 1.5cm during the day which explains why the visibility got a little difficult towards the end but that’s something we can fix before the next test.”

Yesterday Rubens Barrichello lobbed a hand grenade into the delicate situation at Mercedes, claiming that Rosberg was wasting his time being Schumacher’s team mate,
“If he (Rosberg) beats him (Schumacher) he’ll be world champion, but I don’t think they will let him do that.”

Rosberg responded to Barrichello’s comments today, saying, “I’m not too worried and, in general, I’m go to go for it and we will see what comes of it. If I’m ahead, great; if I’m behind, I need to work harder.

“I am confident from last year that I can do well. I don’t have a problem. It’s going to be challenge, of course, because I’m up against one of the greatest of all time.”

This is all part of the sledging that goes on in F1, particularly where people sense a weakness or a fault-line. Both Mercedes drivers are working hard to present a united and harmonious front and Rosberg has taken the tack of talking up his illustrious team mate, but there is no doubt that most observers see it as inevitable that Schumacher will assert himself in time -honoured tradition, particularly as he has strong bond with Ross Brawn with whom Rosberg has yet to establish a working relationship. It’s already quite clear that this is a point the German and foreign media will be picking away at over the season.

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. Tomorrow he hands over to Jenson Button. There has much talk of McLaren’s use of flow vis paint yesterday on the car to assess the aerodynamic performance, which some have taken as a bad sign, but I think that is just thoroughness after last year’s problems. It is normal practice to use it early on, usually at a shakedown, but as yesterday was effectively their shakedown they chose to do it then, despite it being very public.

Renault worked on dialling out understeer problems which had troubled Robert Kubica on Monday. He is talking about the adaptation process to his new car taking some time, particularly to the high fuel loads. He worked mainly on high fuel from the looks of things and did one run of 38 laps. He set his best time today on the second lap of a three lap run.

Williams continue to make steady progress, but you sense that they are working on reliability testing with the new Cosworth engine. I don’t have access to acoustic analysis, but it would be interesting to know whether the Cosworth is yet running to 18,000 rpm. It is after all the first track test for this engine.

HEADLINE LAP TIMES, DAY 2, VALENCIA

1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:11.722 124
2. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber 1:12.056 96
3. Lewis Hamilton Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:12.256 108
4. Robert Kubica Renault 1:12.426 119
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:12.899 119
6. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:13.377 102
7. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:13.823 107

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1

According to some reports on the internet, Hamilton did one long run yesterday and turned consistently in the low 1:12s, which is apparently territory no one else matched on longer runs.

Ross Brawn also singled out Ferrari and Lewis as the “quick” ones yesterday.

2

I’m no aero dynamist… but I can’t help thinking that the various winglets on the front wing of the McLaren add up to a fairly substantial combined flat front area which must increase drag a lot – the equivalent of pushing a log around the track. Can anyone offer any insight on whether simple is best?

3

I think we are missing one of the most inportant factor that teams are trying to understand during this testing.

How will the tyres perform under the extra weight in the car and the fact that the cars are longer.

There is no reason for any team to try to prove themselves with fastest laps, they will need to understand how far they can go in terms of performance with a full tank in order to be competitive during the race.

If FIA will decide that the qualifying tyres will be the tyres to be used at the start of the race, teams will need to gather enough data to decide how fast they will need to go with the current set of tyres.

Most of the teams will run testing programs such as running for 12 or 18 laps and them checking all the data but the most important part of the testing will be on tyres.

You can have the most powerfull car with the best engine conduming little fuel but you need to put the power on the track and rubber will be a key factor at the beginning of the season.

I will be not surprised to see several teams going for 3 stops strategy due to the degradation fo the tyres at the beginning of the GP and then using super soft at the end.

And don’t forget that this year teams can adjust the front wing from inside the cockpit, it will be very interesting to see which team will have an advantage using this.

4

Question: Will teams be allowed to gain an advantage over others if they have a more fuel efficient engine? For example if the Renault uses 0.25 litre of fuel less per lap than a Ferrari, does it mean that they can run a 70-lap race with a car that is 17.5 litre – and hence the resultant weight – lighter? And if that is allowed, doesn’t it place the likes of Vettel and Kubica in a very good situation?

5

Yes

6
Jamie Merrifield

Maybe Kubica will be able to eat this year then!

7

For me another great day of F1 action in Valencia. From 10am until 5 pm there was hardly any down time on the circuit during the whole day, with the teams choosing to get as much running in as possible.

Once again for me Massa looked in a class of his own. That car looks so together and even when the fuel load went up there was no drama. I sat on the trackside at the apex of turn two for a large part of the day and there seamed considerably more fluidity from the F10 under heavy breaking into the tight hairpin. The exit of this corner seamed to give most other teams grip problems as they exited.

Nico still could have done with a cushion in the Merc today but still seamed to be sat far too low. Interestingly it’s not just me that hates the sound of that car but everbody was sat with fingers in ears whenever it was on track. I’m no mechanic but surely the back fire is a problem? I know all the cars pop a little on over-run but it sounded like a drive by shooting!

We saw the very same Kobayashi who impressed at the end of last year. Boy oh boy is this guy agressive. After Massa had set the bench mark time this morning the gauntlet was thrown down and he really wanted to beat it. I personally think that the Sauber car may be a suprise spanner in the works for some of the big guns especially with this new rookie at the helm.

Great to see Lewis get his first run in the car that he has helped develop. I did not have access to the timing screens but timed two of his longer stints on my watch and his lap times appeared to be very consistant. There was an absolute bucket load of Flo-Vis paint again all over the car on his last few runs of the day.

James, do you have any information on what Lewis was doing on track towards the end of the day? He was coasting arround really slowly, then would pick some speed up, then drop it back off. I thought he had engine or gear box problems at one point but the just carried on.

My next confusion was Renault. It really did not look like Kubica in the car today. He looked too small and the helmet was black. Robert normaly leans out of corners and not into them. Are we sure that Renault didn’t hire the stig?

Buemi had a rough day. I think at about 4pm he would have gladly hung up his helmet and called it a day. Just as Kubica brought out the red flags at 4.55 there was a horrible noise from the STR and I think it’s gear box must have given up as he stopped and had to be collected on a truck. I felt really sorry for him as he got out of the car, he was met by a sarcastic round of applause
from the Spanish fans

8

Nice insight. Thanks…

9

Thanks for the report, Spencer.

10

Fingers crossed McLaren have it right this year 8)

11

Flow vis paint is hardly anything to worry about I think. Get worried when they start attatching cameras built on scaffolding like they did last year!

12

James,

Is the “Santander” logo on the Ferrari a different shade of red from the rest of the car?

It’s not the prettiest car Ferrari have made, that’s for sure.

13

hi james and thanks for ur hard work,i will like 2 know why people keep saying ferrari is fast, went in fact massa have been doing short run all day, and mclaren for what i know was doing long run please help me understand….thanks

14

Ditto on nico. He should just cut the talk and drive….

15

James, who is kubicas race engineer at renault? thx

16

Mark Slade, I believe. Ex Kimi, Mika, McLaren

17

Rubens already said on an interview that Williams is limiting their engines for now, just to check reliability.

He was asked to compare the Corsworth with the Mercedes he drove last year, but he said it is not possible yet because it is running limited.

18

James it seems to me that the Mclaren is performing really well and is consistent in the long runs. Maybe it’s out and out pace is not the best yet but it is consistent.

I recall earlier you said you would be keeping an eye on Hamilton’s long run pace. How did he do in your eyes.

19

I might be tempted to put some visi-flow paint on my car just to confuse the enemy.

Good that Kobi has shown early form, an entertaining driver like Lewis.

20

The device is called a pilot tube and it is used to measure wind speed

21

Chris, a Pitot tube is used to test for positive or negitive air pressures.

22

pitot tubes dont test or measure anything, they are pipes. pitot tubes direct airflow to a measuring device, which is most commonly an airspeed indicator. rather than measuring ground speed, ASIs measure the relative speed that the air is flowing over your wings.

23

yes all pitot-static instruments measure air pressure and display results calculated from pressure. Pitot tubes are all forward facing, placing one in the ground effect would be of limited use, as it still is only measuring relative air speed, you would need to know all your lift co-efficients to calculate a useful downforce value. If you are thinking a pitot tube pointed straight down, (i.e. a hole in the surface) then you are correct that would measure the ambient pressure under the car, so you would get a good indication of downforce, or at least a good indication of the pressure differential between top and bottom. (these are refered to as Static Holes).

J

24

Good point re pitot tubes not measureing anything, John, I should have known that!!!! But re your “air speed” comment—-what if I was checking to see if I had a possitive or negitive or how much negitive pressure under my racing car to check the amount of ground efect my air dam and skirts were creating? (Pitot tube through the floor). The measureing device would be recording presures as oposed to air speed, wouldn’t they?

PK.

25

Are you insinuating that Schumacher asserts himself on a team through relationships rather than work ethic, dedication, sheer speed and ultimately delivery of actual results?

26

Of course it’s everything, the whole package. But relationships are at the heart of his modus operandi. Read my 2007 biography of him

27

nice easy sell there james

28

Are relationships not the modus operandi of life? Hamilton, like Schumacher, appears to use team building to great effect, maximizing his overall potential above and beyond sheer speed. On the other hand, Raikonnen is a good example of how raw talent is not quite enough (based on talent alone he should be a multiple champion, luck aside).

29

Actually I have two of your books, post and pre retirement I. 🙂 Though I like your insight into his career, but more often than not could agree with your conclusions… When he first joined F1 what kind of relationships did he have? Unlike a certain Mr. Hamilton…

30

James,

Was McLaren mainly concentrating on longer-runs again today with Hamilton?

Looks like McLaren may not be that far off of Ferrari. Hamilton set his time on the fourth lap of a 20 lap run and was a half-second off Massa, who did his on the first lap of an 11 lap run. (And thus, Hamilton had more fuel on board, presumably.)

I suspect that Sauber is running light to set big times and get sponsors. Eight lap runs? Give me a break!

31

Big Times? Big Times are slow (bigger as in more seconds ==> slower).

You want Small Times. No, no, you don’t, you want fast times.

This is why I hate the current dumbing down of English to use “big” to mean anything “good/better/larger/faster”, rather than what it means.

What you mean was “set fast times”, not big times.

32

Oh, simmer down.

33

get a life!!

34

Maybe they were using a nine-foot high pit board to post the times on? They’d be pretty big then.

35

James,

first of all thanks for the quick updates!

Second I have a question, but do you know whether the starting fuel loads will be announced before the start of the GP like last year? I know it won’t be information which has as much value like last year, but on the other hand, say for instance Ferrari puts it on pole by a small margin but then has to add 20 more kg’s of fuel than the others to make it to the end. That would be interesting racing. It could give the fans and reporters some usefull information on what could happen during the race.

36

Surely that cant happen as there is no refuelling, the only advantage of knowing the fuel weights would be to calculate a particlar engine/chassis packages fuel consumption. Just because cars have the same engine doesnt mean the consumption will be same, For instance last year Vettel was understood to use nearly 5 – 10% more fuel in a race than webber due to his driving style

37

Chris, what I meant was that when you need 10 or 20 kg’s more fuel to make it to the end of the race, this will affect the laptimes hugely in the beginning of the race. Most circuits have a fuel effect around 0.2 -0.3 seconds per 10 kg’s extra fuel. So that can be usefull information. Certainly when you take into account the extra load (meaning degradation) on the tyres.

38

Martin, actually you added some valuable information to my original thoughts. I only thought about the influence it had on the laptimes given the extra fuel and stress on the tires, but it can definitely influence the race strategie.

If you are stuck behind another car up untill now it wouldn’t make sense to pit earlier as you would have to refuel as well so the laptimes would drop. Now you are immediately on the pace and could gain an advantage by pitting earlier.

I think we could be in for a treat looking at various strategy possibilities.

39

Spark – if I understand you correctly, a team would vary its own planned tyre stops if it has a Ferrari instead of a Red Bull in front of it. The race strategy would then be varied on the actuality, as the Ferrari may still be quicker? In recent years it has been one of the best in terms of tyre wear.

Leaving Ferrari aside, it would be interesting, if the car weights are published to see how the cars vary from race to race. Some tracks will be greater consumption than others, and then there are the ‘reliability’ improvements.

40

I don’t think the numbers are right there.

41

As far as I know that rule hasn’t changed. I was talking to Ted Kravitz about this just recently. Will check.

42
Mike from Medellin, Colombia

James, has Ted confirmed that Legards is back on the BBC.

If so, would like to know so that I can make sure I have Fox Sports in time!

Would love to have you back on TV. It’s just not the same any more.

43

Who is commentating on fox?

sorry can’t stay around here too long go to “Push on!”

44

Hi James,

Speaking of refueling being banned this year, what happens when we have many safety cars deployed in a race and drivers cannot save some fuel to the end of the race. Does one get penalty for refueling? Is it even allowed?

45

Don’t get that. You save fuel under safety car..?

46

That’s a device to measure the speed of the car relative to the ambient air. Its more accurate than other used methods.

47

Rosberg is set for a v difficult time of it and it’s pure bad luck that he’s ended up with MS as teammate. I really do wish him the best of luck and hope he will acquit himself well.

He has never been particularly political but he is now in a hotly political situation and he’ll have to start learning fast to fight his corner.

If he can do his talking on the track Schumi won’t have a leg to stand on!!

48

James, do the cars generally lap until empty in testing, do you know? Because if they do, then Lewis was half a second down with 6 laps more fuel in the car?

What do you make of this?

49

Nice insight!

If we elaborate on this:

We cannot know the exact amount of fuel in the cars, but can definitely find out the least amount of fuel in the car by multiplying the number of laps of the stint by 2 kilos.(don’t know exact fuel consumption for this track).

This way for a stint of 26 laps for example, we can find out that there were approximately little more than 50 kilos at least.

By collecting and comparing more of those observations, one can probably complete a better picture of the actual race pace. Otherwise its just a guessing game.

50

stop pancakeing hamilton fans.talking about grasping at thin air.its too early for anybody to say who is where.they havnt got the 08 wing out yet so things are not that bad yet lol

51

Can anyone tell me what the ‘blade’ or aerial is on the top of the air box on the Ferrari and McLaren and others possibly?

Steve

52

Hi Steve,

Apparently it’s to measure the speed of the air flow past the car to give a more accurate measurement of speed during testing.

Ian

53

it’s a pitot tube/air data boom.

54

Been wondering that myself

55

pitot tubes for getting very accurate air speed and it will help in determining yaw of the car vs air direction….only for testing

56

It’s a pitot tube, used to measure speed, that much I know.

But I think F1 cars already have pitot tubes on the top of the monocoque, if you’ve ever noticed the upside down ‘L’ shaped tube. I would guess the teams are using the new ones to get more accurate readings, but I’m not sure. Somebody will know, James perhaps??

57

Yes, the pitot tube measures air speed. Ferrari has been using the very tall one for the past few years in testing only. However, what intrigues me is why other teams, except McLaren, don’t do the same.

The same question applies to the new Renault’s front end. Last year’s Red Bull’s front end has clearly been imitated (copied?) by Brawn, Ferrari and McLaren. You would think it would be good enough for Renault…

58

I think it measures air speed and gives better telemetry somehow.

59

Great write-up as always James 🙂

have you done the FOTA survey?

See link below

http://www.lgf1racingfansurvey.com/

60

If possible please bump this survey link onto your home page James, we need as many fans as possible to fill it out.

I’ve done my bit so far by making a thread on the Planet-F1 forums and it’s proving very popular.

61

That survey doesn’t care about the ideas of people under 18. What is more, it wants (or orders) us to choose predetermined answers which were somehow deemed to be appropriate by “some”. So, there is no any free section where fans can freely express their feelings and opinions about how Formula can appeal to audience and fans in a most efficient way.

We are not permitted to say what we think it’s convenient for the sport, instead we are forced to choose what it’s deemed to be convenient by teh powers that be. This is a restricted elective course, if you will. Take it or leave it.

Shame on you FOTA, and your pathetic point rule and tyre rule. Thanks for that.

62

I have to say I agree with your sentiments to some degree.

Many of the predetermined answers are limiting and in some cases so narrow they only allowed for shades of grey in a single viewpoint to be reflected.

But free-format comments? Bad idea with so many submissions. You need to collate that sort of stuff from carefully managed forums and “focus groups” or you’ll spend weeks interpreting and analysing.

Don’t forget however that we’re unlikely to be the true target audience. As “die hard” fans what can we really tell them they can’t work out for themselves? What they really need to know is how to appeal to new fans and markets.

In short though, the survey does come across as surprisingly amateurish – but I don’t think there’s anything biased about it …. they just shouldn’t have left it to the tea-boy to write.

63

I think F1 Racing put it together, perhaps you should address your thoughts to them

64

Thanks for the update James, I always find it really hard to deduce anything from the test times so it’s good to have a pro doing it for me.

It’s also really good of you to open up the live twitter feed you and your team have put together, maybe a podcast could be next??

65

James, I know it’s only day 2, but are Sauber/Kobayashi already punching above their anticipated weight?

Surely they’re too professional to waste two valuable test days simply gunning for glory on low tanks?

I’d be thrilled for them if the BMW DNA turns out Honda-esque and leaves them fighting for podiums/top 6.

66

wouldnt be suprised if BMW made a good car, i think they started developing for 2010 quite early?

But it could be as you say. They have very little sponsorship and if companies think there is a chance of another Brawn then they might put some cash in.

67

I hope it stays sponsor free… it’s the best looking car by a mile in my view – especially with those atypical wheels.

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