Jerez test Day 1: Massa on top, Renault seat is Heidfeld’s to lose
Scuderia Ferrari
Jerez test Day 1: Massa on top, Renault seat is Heidfeld’s to lose
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 Feb 2011   |  10:26 pm GMT  |  64 comments

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.

The F150th Italia in action (Photo: Ferrari)

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 saw quite a few red flag stoppages. Sergio Perez set the second fastest time in the Sauber.

Pirelli has all four of its current dry tyre specifications available to test this week, as well as the range of rain tyres. After the first test in Valencia there was some anxiety about the rate of degradation and it will be interesting to see how they behave at Jerez, which is a slightly faster track with warmer conditions. Today the track temperature was 33 degrees. The real acid test will come at the third and fourth official tests, however at Barcelona and Bahrain.

McLaren’s radical looking new car hit the track today for the first time with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. They are still working through the bedding in process of new systems, KERS and adjustable rear wing which their rivals did last week. They will be hoping that the work they have done in the simulator building a sophisticated model of the Pirelli tyres, has given them a head start in assimilating the tyres. “The car feels good compared to last year’s, which is positive. It feels like a good step over MP4-25,” said Hamilton.

Today it was also announced that McLaren has renewed its partnership with Exxon Mobil, securing yet another of its major sponsors for the long term. McLaren has certainly cemented its commercial position in the last few months.

Force India was also working with its new car as was Virgin Racing, whose MVR-02 managed 42 laps.

Renault had Vitaly Petrov on track today. The Renault team has indicated that the seat left vacant by Robert Kubica’s accident is Nick Heidfeld’s to lose. The team says it wants an experienced driver and it is giving Heidfeld the chance this week to show he’s the man for the job. Only if he comes up short will the team look to one of the other possible candidates.

“Nick is here to be evaluated,” said Renault team boss Eric Boullier. “Once we have finished our assessment of him, if we are happy with Nick, then we keep Nick. If this had happened in the middle of the season, then the car would have been developed, and you could give a young driver some miles to educate him in Formula 1. But we have to develop this car from scratch, so the obvious choice of driver is an experienced one.”

But the team has also indicated that official reserve driver Bruno Senna will get a run this weekend in the car.

Daniel Ricciardo was out in the Toro Rosso, alongside Jaime Alguersuari. The Australian is the reserve driver for the team this season, but is there to put real pressure on the two race drivers.

Williams managed just 14 laps today with Pastor Maldonado following problems with the rear wing actuator.

Meanwhile tonight Ferrari has reacted to the law suit issued by Ford over the use of the name F150, which clashes with one of Ford’s best selling pick up trucks in the USA. Ferrari pointed out that its F150 is not commercially available, but to avoid any problems it will refer to it from now on as F150 Italia in all communications.

Remember you can follow the action from Jerez as all the live Tweets come in from teams, drivers, journos and fans in the stands on


1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m20.709s 101 laps
2. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m21.483s + 0.774s 94 laps
3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m21.522s + 0.813s 94 laps
4. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m21.755s + 1.046s 36 laps
5. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m21.914s + 1.205s 58 laps
6. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.689s + 1.980s 42 laps
7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m23.472s + 2.763s 28 laps
8. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m23.504s + 2.795s 57 laps
9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.963s + 3.254s 67 laps
10. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m24.458s + 3.749s 54 laps
11. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m25.086s + 4.377s 42 laps
12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m34.968s + 14.259s 12 laps

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After day3 looks like my instincts are not far off. Of course i wish i could be pleasantly surprised but this does not look like a McLaren that is in the same class as the Ferrari and RB. McLaren and Whitmarsh really do really seem to be good in the all talk and no action department.


Just to add to my previous comment about turn 4. I’m almost sure that Mark Webber was the only driver to shift down 1 gear at turn 4 whilst the others shifted 2. They were slowing down much more than he was on entry.


I was at the track on Thursday and must say that the grip Mark Webbers Red Bull had at the quick turn 4 compared to the others was immense. This was especially noticable compared to the Lotus Renault that looked and sounded clunky through the same turn. In fact, the Lotus Renault sounded awful all throughout the day….might be a result of the front blown exhaust. As for the McLaren, the grip it had entering and exiting turn 15 (Curva Ducados)was on a par with the Red Bulls. As for straight line speed down the main straight, the McLaren looked fast…maybe Lewis testing the KERS. Does anybody know the speeds recorded on the straight?


umm this is testing, you know where they test different stuff on the car?

for me the times are meaningless to everyone apart from the team who know what they are running.

it’s to early to say that merc have built a dog of a car.


Yes. I fear though that we won’t have to wait too long 😉


Am I the only one that thinks the whole furore regarding Ford/Ferrari a little petty on Fords part? I really can’t see anyone getting confused with a Ferrari Formula 1 racing a car and a pick-up truck!!! Ferrari made it very clear as to the reasons for naming this years racer the ‘F150’

I think Ford are trying to drum up some business for themselves here.


So it’s seems like were in the same position as last year then. Mercedes don’t look at all competitive. Worrying. Red Bull then Ferrari with McLaren close behind.


It seems that I am not the only one who is worried about Mercedes.

Ohhhhh dearrrr

Jonathan De Andrade

Hi James,

It was on the Brazilian media yesterday that James Key was standing on the first corner for a few laps observing the cars behaviour after a sharp bend and he said that no car whatsoever regain acceleration as fast as the Red Bull of Mar Webber. What are your views on that? or would it be to early for an accessment?


I didn’t see his comment but that was typical of last year’s Red Bull.


It looks like Ricciardo handed it to Alguersuari today. What was the vibe at Toro?


Dont knock the Mercedes just yet.If you look at the lap times set in the runs, then at least they are a lot more consistant than most. Mark Webber is by far the most consistent and it will be nice to compare him to Vettel today. This year is not going to be about ultimate lap times, but managing tyres and being consistent.


Does anyone know if Ricciardo was on the track after Alguersuari? If not, what were the respective conditions for each, since it doesn’t bode well for Jaime if the conditions were similar and he was almost a second slower.


I’m going to put it out there that with 9 tenths the difference either they were running with different factos involved or Algausarie wont make it to Bahrain. Somehow I think the former is mre likely.

Teams test lots of things and I doubt that they were diong the same runs for both. Which one had more extra fuel onboard? Who used which tyre compound? Did Riciardo have softer tyres but more fuel which Algusaurie have the opposite?

TR know the result. We probably wont know the result.

Aparently the faster times all pretty much came in the earlier parts of the day (when riccirado was driving), so who knows. I like ricirado and hope he gets a drive soon. I also like Alguasurie hope he keeps his.


Even though it is testing and nobody wants to stick their neck out in regards to relative pace this is my guess for the upcoming season in relation to team pace.

1. Redbull will again have the best downforce and pace. But the re-intoduction of KERS and limited weight distribution will bring them back closer to ferrari.

2. Ferrari and Mclaren again will be neck and neck trailing Redbull and depending on track configuration Alonso and Hamilton will be the closest to Redbulls pace.

3. Renault would have been my next choice but with ‘quick nick’ in RK place, we will see why he is not that ‘quick’ after all.

4. Mercedes will again come up short and Ze Germanz will be very upset that they have lost ground to williams and Force India. Ouch!


Quick Nick? Is this the same person that got frightened off the track by Kobayashi in the same car at Suzuka? If I can remember correctly Heidfeld hasn’t beaten a teammate for about 10 years.


Frightened off the track? By that you mean chooisng not to fight with your teammate who was quicker on newer tyres and risk both of you crashing out of points-scoring positions? I think that’s just common sense.

“If I can remember correctly Heidfeld hasn’t beaten a teammate for about 10 years.”

You certainly don’t remember correctly! He was classified ahead of Alesi in 2000 despite neither scoring any points. He beat Raikkonen 12-9 in 2001. He beat Massa 7-4 in 2002. Frentzen beat him 13-6 in 2003. He beat Glock and Pantano (3, 2 and 0 points respectively) in 2004. He was ahead of Mark Webber in 2005 until injury forced him to miss the end of the season. In 2006 he scored 23 points to Villeneuve’s 7 and Kubica’s 6. In 2007 he scored 61 points to Kubica’s 39. In 2008 Kubica beat him 75 to 60. He beat Kubica again 19-17 in 2009. Kobayashi beat him 11-6 during their few races together.

So more often than not Heidfeld has beaten his teammates.


Thanks for that info, I wasn’t aware how competitive he has been historically.


Well said! There’s nothing like facts to put down a smart arse.


He outscored Kubica in 06, 07 and 09 and has also beaten Massa and Kimi.


I agree. Force India might be closer to the mix also with strong drivers (Di Resta has out performed Vettel in the past) and with the Renault losing Kubica.

Merc going backwards?


Sorry, but I’m with Ford on that one. Everyone is making fun of pick-up truck vs F1 race car. What would Ferrari say if the Ford GT was named Ford F40? You wanna bet there would be words exchanged and lawsuits filed?

Ferrari should not be naming race cars after trucks. Unless it’s a slow year. The prize for the suckiest named car surely goes to Ferrari – F150th? Sounds like a fraction not a race car.


If a company is the same market (say for example road cars) as an another which is trying to use a brand name it owns, then that company has every right to go hunting with a pack of lawyers and defend itself. But no-one will argue that a pickup, a road-going production vehicle designed for utility, is in the same market as a bespoke, exclusive, ultra high performance llimited-volume racing car. Indeed, the Ferrari F150 isn’t in any market anyway, as it’s not for sale and never will be, to the public, straight from the factory. As far as I am aware, GM and NASA never got in any legal tangles over the ‘Saturn’ brand.

If Ferrari try and sell F150 merchandise in the US, then fair enough. F1 model designations aren’t used as a key merchandising element anyway (MP4-25 cap? I’ll pass) so it would be a petty issue.

As an aside, I believe one reason the Ford GT wasn’t called the GT40 was because the GT40 name now belongs to a kit car company.


It already happened with the Pontiac GTO, Ferrari first used it on the 250 GTO in the 60’s but you do not hear them Whining.

As they say imitation is a form of Flattery.

But in this case Ford had more to gain from Ferrari using the name as in my opinion it would have added a little bit of appeal for the truck by virtue of association with one of the best F1 cars in the world in a sport viewed by millions around the world. The value of which can be ascertained by checking the amount of money Lotus are paying Renault and Marlboro paying Ferrari for the privilege.

Personally whoever is in charge of Marketing at Ford is a disgrace to his/her profession.


But this whole tamale *is a marketing thing! Ford got some free publicity and some laughs. Since the F150 is by far the best-selling pickup I doubt they needed it anyway. And since its not sold overseas afaik they won’t care about all those ‘millions’. Indeed I’d bet most pickup drivers never *heard of Formula One so in reality its irrelevant.


2010 and early 2011 Mercedes’ performance is telling me that Brawn car very likely got away with murder in 2008.


Red Bull look as though they were trialling front facing exhausts yesterday (which no one else noticed). Have a look at these photos:

In the launch photos the exhausts were clearly visible behind the sidepod, yet now they are no where to be seen. Initially I thought they were tucked under the little hump on the rear of the floor but looking at the side on photo of the car, it appears this isn’t the case. If you then turn your attention to the area in front of the sidepod, you will see the slightest puff of flames or sparks… When have you ever seen sparks/flames in that part of the car before?


I don’t get it.

When we talk of thousands of a second being the difference, anything to help the car move forward should be a YES-YES. and anything that so much as retards this should be a NO-NO….

So, conventional exhausts were used to blow air onto the DD last year, because it had enough thrust, and now they hope to gain advantage by blowing the same exhaust air forward? Surely this must be negative thrust when the car is moving forward????

What am i missing?

Or are they trying to save on the Reverse gear weight, by having forward exhausts bail you out in those times?? 😛


Maybe someone should obtain a Thermal Imaging camera and take some pics (I guess the other teams are doing this already) , it may help us work out what is coming out where..


Excellent photos. That rear end is extremely tightly packed


Thansk for these photos.

It looks like there is a message to Robert Kubica on the back wing, I’m guessing some kind of get-well message.

Anyone got any Polish to translate?


I think it’s still way too early to make any real summaries, although I must say, I am a little concerned that despite the Mercedes getting over their problems of Valencia, they can still only manage 9th fastest. Have to wait and see what Schuey can do.

The tests Barcelona and Bahrain would have to be the true indicators since they are tracks on the calendar, so I’m holding out that inroads can be made there…


I feel sorry for Senna. I was hoping he’d be offered the seat, but it looks like he isn’t in the running and they want an experienced driver. I hope he still shows what he’s capable of in testing though. 🙂


Oh boy! Does Mercedes look sick again! Something tells me Michael will extract more out of it this season than Nico. But atleast in this stage it doesn’t seem like they are gonna upset the applecart of top runners.Sad.


I really hope Nick gets the Renault seat, I always thought he was very underrated and that given the right opportunity he could be another David Coulthard or even a Jenson Button. Before 2009, everyone had practically written off Jenson, and then the BGP001 came and he showed everyone what he’s truly got. With Kubica expected to be out for at least a year, I think this is Nick’s chance so I hope he makes the most of it. Plus, nothing against Senna, but I’m just not sure if the kid’s got it, I’m not impressed – especially after his supposed criticism of Collin Colles during last year’s British GP.

On a side note, it would have been better off had Ferrari renamed the F150, something like “Italia 150”. The “th” in “F150th Italia” just sound’s wrong. It’s like a pet name you’d give to your favorite gadget/motorcycle/car….


I can’t believe Boullier would state that Senna would step up should something happen to a driver, only to then turn around and recruit someone from outside the team when that exact eventuality unfolds. Given this kind of carry-on and the political games being played with the Red Bull driver programme, I’m surprised there aren’t more hard questions being asked of team bosses.


Ask Nigel Mansell about Frank Williams!


I did, but Nige said he couldn’t talk because he

had to do a half-arsed TV insurance ad.


there’s a big difference between taking over for one or two races because a main driver is out for a few weeks (which is what Boullier was presumably referring to), and being promoted to a race seat for a whole season (a pretty unusual situation that they could hardly have predicted) – particularly when Renault still have major development still to do on the car. It’s entirely understandable and makes sense from Renault’s point of view. Tough on Senna, who must have thought he had a great chance of a decent drive, but I don’t think Renault have treated him badly here…


I notice you’re listing Petrov’s car as “Renault”; good to see some sense being applied, although cars *have* had sponsor names in them in the past, such as the Canon Williams Honda.


they’re listed as Renault on the official site:


Just goes to show that I come here for authoritative and speedy information and not the official site!

Thanks to everyone who replied (including James of course).


But not here. The McLaren is being referred to as a McLaren-Mercedes not a Vodaphone McLaren-Mercedes. All makes sense.

The Renault only gets Lotus in its name when Mercedes gets Petronas, Ferrari Marlboro etc..


I have to use the full name in the official TV top three press confference after qualifying and the race


Doesn’t look to be problem given how fast Team Lotus and Renault are…. that purely coming from an arm chair expert here.

Any word on the court case or is still just after the season starts back?


I feel for you James, having to put with all that rubbish protocol. Having to name a car “Vodaphone McLaren Mercedes”, not being allowed to call a world champion world champion because Mr E want to advertise its end of year Gala which happens when people look forward to the season ahead rather than the previous one.

Lucky for you Team Lotus Renault and Renault Lotus won’t share any podium avoiding confusion.




Won’t be using it too often then :). Personally I’ve just as much problem with calling it Renault as they don’t own any of the team, whatever the politics Genii who seem to part-own the team and have the rights to use the Lotus name.


Hey James, Ferrari are referring to the new car as the F150th Italia (+th)


Yes, the (little writing on the) banner needs to be changed.


Also “but to avoid any problems it will refer to it from now on as F150 Italia in all communications.”


I am a little worried about the Mercedes lack of pace. Rosberg says not to write them off yet as they have a big update due. From what I have read though no one has their final car yet.

James are you worried by the apparent relative lack of pace despite all the variables present?


Schumacher now fastest. More worryingly 3 sec faster than Nico in same car. Obviously the setup has been changed and who know what else between the sessions.


Looks like McLaren are continuing with their 2010 trend of promising alot and delivering very little – anyway, let’s how the new car performs today


Absurd. The first time a car turns a wheel & you’re writing it off – ‘promising a lot and delivering very little’.

If it doesn’t top the timesheet today, then that will give you conclusive proof that its no good? The McL designers will be so upset, I guess they will redesign the car.


For the last two championships, the car that showed the best pace in the pre-season tests took both titles. In both years, McLaren was lacklustre in the tests despite some very robust marketing. Unfortunately the just ended Jerez tests seem to confirm my fears. There is an eerie similarity this year to the last two years as regards McLaren pace.


That Mercedes needs to be put down!Poor old Nico….


was at the test today and noticed a lot of marble build up around the track, especially round some of the faster parts. i think the new tyres are going to badly hurt racing this season simply because of the amount of marbles these new tyres have been leaving around the track.

i had read that it was a problem at valencia last week but having actually seen it for myself i can see a lot of races through 2011 been affected by nobody wanting to go off the clean racing line to try and pass anyone because of the marbles.

the last time i remember seeing as many marbles as i did today during an f1 race is the 2006 race at montreal which was one of the less exciting races at montreal because nobody was trying to pass anybody as nobody wanted to go off the racing line as when they did they went off the track or into the wall.


If that turns out to be the case at every track, then the rear wing flap is totally wasted. It will just be processional again.

If going off line picks up marbles, then even qualifying will just depend on luck in getting a clear lap down the clean bit of on-line track.

I was looking forward to high tyre wear requiring two or even three stops per race and strategy to the fore; but this news has thrown a bucket of cold water over everything.


Is anybody concerned about what is going to happen at Montreal this season?, because I mean if Pirelli have been asked to make tyres with a much higher degredation rate than the Bridgestones so we have more races at other tracks like what happened at Montreal 2010, so what is going to happen with the Pirelli tyres at Montreal this year?, drivers will be needing about 5 pit stops.


I already have my tickets for the Montreal GP!! I can’t wait. Forza Ferrari.


Has a race ever been stopped because they ran out of tyres? LOL


That would be sooo funny!


Great observation! It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the season.

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